The Commemorative Air Force prepares for ride in honor of 75th anniversary of attack on Dutch Harbor
(May 30, 2017 – Anchorage, Alaska) The 75th anniversary of the only battle fought on America’s soil, the Aleutian Campaign is often known as the “Forgotten Battle,” because of other larger campaigns overseas at the time. But on Japanese forces did land in the Aleutian Islands for a campaign which began June 3, 1942 and lasted 14 months. The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) members of the Col Hunt Alaska Wing, based in Anchorage, flew to Dutch Harbor to host an event to commemorate the anniversary and honor the remaining veterans and their families. Two World War II aircraft were flown there to be on display, their assigned aircraft, a Canadian Harvard Mk IV and a privately owned JRF-5 Grumman Goose.
CAF members were on hand to give tours and speak about the aircraft, CAF Col Suellyn Novak summed up the Canadian involvement in the Aleutian Campaign saying “The Canadians said ‘Wait a minute, the Japanese are on our backdoor too, we need to step in here.’ They (Canada) had more planes, they started loaning us (Americans) planes, so the planes would come out with the Canadian pilots and they saved our bacon.”
The Col Hunt Alaska Wing Leader Spencer Wilson said "The goal is to bring attention to something, which I think is very important for Alaskans and really the nation at large for remembering what happened 75 years ago during World War II. You know, the war is kind of separate from a lot of people's minds and people don't realize that we had a pretty intricate role in that war and that battle."
The wing’s Harvard, a World War II trainer, was donated by CAF Col Mike Hunt, who flew to Dutch Harbor for the event in the “Goose.” Both aircraft launched from Merrill and Lake Hood respectively on Saturday, May, 27, 2017 and made stops in King Salmon and Cold Bay. They arrived in Unalaska with perfect weather later that day.
“The airplanes flew wonderfully and the weather was great - the volcano was no factor.” said a spokesman for the wing. You can go to their Facebook page for updates at https://www.facebook.com/Alaskawingcaf .