Anchorage area sites associated with WWII

May 29, 2010 

• Fort Richardson National Cemetery is the final resting place for many veterans of World War II and other wars. Russians and Canadians who died in Alaska during the war are buried in an adjacent plot. A cenotaph honors the cremated remains of 235 Japanese soldiers who died in the Aleutian campaign.

• 11th Air Force Monument at Merrill Field honors the airmen who served in Alaska during the war. A wall lists the names of those who died or were taken prisoner by the Japanese or the Soviet Union. After reclaiming the Aleutians, the U.S. launched air attacks on Japanese territory from Alaska. Despite being America's ally in Europe, the USSR was neutral in the Pacific for most of the war and interred 291 American combatants who, due to weather or damage, landed in Russia. Merrill Field supplied temporary headquarters for the Army Air Corps in Alaska while the Elmendorf base was under construction.

• Anchorage Veterans Monument at Ninth Avenue and I Street. While the monument honors all veterans, the life-size statue on the Delaney Park Strip shows a World War II soldier in full battle gear.

• Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum at 4721 Aircraft Drive (on Lake Hood, near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport). The 1943 PBY Caalina amphibious aircraft on display may or may not have arrived in Alaska in time to see action during the war. But other relics, like the 1942 Stinson L5, flew for British forces in Burma.

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