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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Alaska during the Pacific War

Dutch Harbor, Alaska, N.A.S. - Nov. 1942

 

Main Street - Dutch Harbor
William F. Draper #14
Oil on board; 1942
88-189-O

 

Coming off the dock at Dutch Harbor, this busy street is one's first glimpse of the oldest base in the Aleutians. On the right are the original buildings of the Alaskan Commercial Company. Solders, sailors, marines and seabees populate the base from which civilians were evacuated months ago.

 

Seabees Hive - Dutch Harbor - Alaska
William F. Draper #16
Oil on board; 1942
88-189-Q

 

Encampment of the Construction Battalion. Like a suburb to Dutch Harbor, the Seabees encampment is a small settlement apart where the highly respected Construction Battalion is quartered. These men have left lucrative civilian jobs to volunteer their special skills to the Navy. The Aleutian winter is one of constant freezing and thawing which at times turns the roadways into quagmires of almost impassable mud.

 

Sub and Yippy Tie Up
William F. Draper #13
Oil on board; 1942
88-189-N

 

In a quiet inlet of the Bering Sea, a YP boat gets a coat of paint and an S-boat ties up for fuel and provisions. The short Alaskan day is ending and lights may be seen in the barracks until total
darkness requires a blackout.

 

Landing Strip - Dutch Harbor
William F. Draper #12
Oil on board; 1942
88-189-M

A J2F-4 refuels on the airfield at Dutch Harbor preparatory to taking off. The drab supply house stands in humble contrast to the distant mountains.

 

Aleutian Interior
William F. Draper #17c
Charcoal; 1942
88-189-U

 

 

 

Blizzard
William F. Draper #9
Oil on board; 1942
88-189-J

 

Savage arctic storms often swept down on Dutch Harbor, striking buildings with a wind nearing 100 miles an hour. The gales could easily wreck unprotected planes and tossed lumber and machinery about like paper. These storms caused more damage than Japanese air raids and were dreaded by the Navy.

 

Seabees at Dutch harbor, Alaska
Edward T. Grigware
Oil on board,
74-062-B

 

 

 

Windstruck
William F. Draper #15
Oil on board; 1942
88-189-P

 

The violent force of a typical Aleutian storm is demonstrated by this PBY thrown on its back, broken and helpless. The plane had been doubly secured against the coming storm, and even weighted down with oil drums. The Aleutian campaign was as much a battle against the elements as against the enemy.

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01 December 2001