New Kiska Battlefield Exhibit Opens
Pristine Battlefield on Kiska Island Remembered on 75th Anniversary of US Efforts to Drive Out Japanese Army
Commemorating a little-known Alaska battlefield of global significance, the Alaska Aviation Museum has created the Kiska Exhibit, opening Thursday, April 12, 2018. May marks the 75th commemorative anniversary of US efforts to retake the Japanese-held islands of Kiska and Attu. A slice of Alaska World War Two history, the Kiska Exhibit includes both historic and modern images of Kiska’s battlefield landscape.
Uninhabited before and after the war, Kiska bears pristine scars of battle — raw and jarring images of bomb craters, gun barrels still pointing skyward, evocative reminders of the ferocity of that air war. While the Japanese invaders dug in, US forces began dropping bombs and working at a feverish pace to establish airfields and to more effectively support the invasions aimed at recapturing both islands. The exhibit highlights a time of great uncertainty, hardship and personal sacrifices on both sides. Kiska is one of eight former World War Two sites in Alaska designated as National Historic Landmarks.
Open to all museum visitors until January 27, 2019, the Kiska Exhibit was developed by the National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Program, based on research by the NPS and USFWS, supported by the American Battlefield Protection Program and the Aleutian WWII National Historic Area, in conjunction with photographer and scholar Dirk HR Spennemann, Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia, courtesy of Janet Clemens, National Historic Landmark Program.
A second commemorative exhibit, the Battle of Attu, will follow, set to open May 19, 2018.