Monday, January 4, 2010


A few years ago, my sister Jeannie and her hubby made it possible for Chuck and I to meet them in Alaska where they were enjoying an extended vacation.
In Anchorage we boarded this train which took us to Seward. We learned lots of fascinating history along the way so naturally I had some of those I-could-write-about-that! moments. Fortunately wisdom told me to leave the Alaska stories to Gary Paulsen.
Jeannie and Steve were waiting for us in Seward and the 4 of us took a day cruise into Resurrection Bay. Yep we saw whales and walruses and seals and birds. But let's talk about the birds.
The "birdhouses" in the picture are actually a WWII encampment on Barwell Island. Read this article to see how indeed these remnants of war became a death trap for seabirds.

It was a damp, chilly day in July when I took this picture. I tried to imagine how it would feel to be an American soldier stationed at this remote, frigid, and nearly inaccessible outpost.
The soldiers' mission was to protect Resurrection Bay from invading Japanese forces. This was a very real concern since the Japanese occupied several nearby islands in the Aleutian Island chain. Our forces managed to keep these islands but the conditions were harsh and the battle was hard fought.
The Aleutian Island conflict with the Japanese is often forgotten and overlooked but there are some books on the subject as well as some online stories .

Alaska At War 1941 -1945: The Forgotten War Remembered

Forgotten Warriors of the Aleutian Campaign

Thousand Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutian


  1. loved this post. great pictures. but where are the whales? :)

  2. Carol, I have whale pics but this is a history blog and I haven't actually read Moby Dick. Guess I should, huh?