Aleutian Islands Naval Air Facilities photograph collection, 1943-1944  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Aleutian Islands Naval Air Facilities photograph collection
1943-1944 (inclusive)
10 photographs (1 folder) ; 8 x 10 in.
Collection Number
Photographs of construction of Naval Air Facilities buildings on Amchitka and Adak in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, 1943
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

During World War II, in June 1942, the Japanese seized the western Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska, which provided the Japanese with a base from which to limit Allied air and sea operations in the North Pacific. In an effort to recapture the islands, the United States established bases on Adak and Amchitka Islands in August 1942, and Naval Air Facilities the following year. Plans were made in the spring of 1943 to recapture Kiska and Attu. It was eventually decided to bypass Kiska, and American and Canadian forces landed on Attu on May 11, 1943. Air and naval units supported the operation. The Japanese on Attu defended their position intensely, and the fighting continued until May 30, when Japan announced the loss of the island.

On August 15, 1943, a powerful Allied amphibious force, including a U.S. infantry division and elements of the Royal Canadian Army, assaulted the island of Kiska, where the Japanese had developed their largest base. To the surprise of the Allies, they found that the Japanese, under cover of heavy summer fog, had secretly evacuated the island. In August 1943, the island was declared secure, thus ending the Aleutian Islands Campaign. During 1944 the Canadians left and U.S. Army presence in Alaska dropped from a high of 144,000 to 63,000 personnel. Although interest in the Alaskan theater waned, it was in the Aleutians that the Allies won their first theater-wide victory in World War II, ending Japan's only campaign in the Western Hemisphere.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photographs a Naval Air Facility on Amchitka and a Naval Air Station on Adak in the Aleutian Islands. Includes photographs of quonset hut construction; various facilities in quonset huts, including an interior view of a mess hall; one group portrait of Navy men at one of the facilities; and one group portrait of men sent to Alaska to build Airports.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View the digital version of the collection .

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Naval Air Facility at Amchitka, 1943Return to Top

These photos identified on verso as taken by 6th Reg. and made for Cmmdr. A.T. Donnell.

Container(s) Description Dates
 Frame of quonset hut warehouse under construction
On verso: Two story quonset hut warehouse. Concrete foundation.
July 25, 1943
2 July 25, 1943
3 July 25, 1943
4 July 25, 1943

Naval Air Station at AdakReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
5 August 4, 1943

Unidentified facilityReturn to Top

Probably at Amchitka or Adak

Container(s) Description Dates
6 circa 1943
 Man pouring water near quonset hut
Stamped on verso: Passed by naval censor
circa 1943
8 circa 1943
 Speed limit sign on dirt pile with camp buildings in distance
Stamped on verso: Passed by naval censor
circa 1943
Group portrait of men holding Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks symbol
Written on photo: U.S. Army, Alaska Dept. Attached to 11th Airforce, Aleutians. Builiding Airports.Stamped on verso: Passed by examiner.
January 1944

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs