Alaska News

Pilots to fly historic military planes to Dutch Harbor for 75th anniversary of bombing

Pilots will fly two historic military planes to Dutch Harbor next week for the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the remote community in the Aleutian Islands.

On Saturday, people gathered at the Wings of Freedom hangar in Anchorage for a send-off party. They posed for photographs with the planes on display, and some took plane rides in the skies above the city.

The two planes — a Grumman G-21 Goose and a Harvard Mk IV — will leave for Dutch Harbor on Monday if weather conditions allow, said Suellyn Wright Novak, executive director of the Alaska Veterans Museum.

Events are planned in Dutch Harbor June 2-4 to remember the 1942 World War II raid by Japanese forces, as well as the Aleut evacuation, Novak said.

"The problem is 98 percent of Americans do not know that we were bombed and then invaded and occupied in World War II," she said. "Our primary mission is to ensure that those Aleutian campaign veterans are never forgotten and their stories are told."

The 75th anniversary event is a collaborative effort among the National Park Service, the Alaska Veterans Museum and the Ounalashka Corp., Novak said. It will include storytelling, a remembrance walk, an airmen memorial and an airplane display.

[The WWII raid that transformed Alaska]