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    Death of Last Surviving Alaskan Taken by Japan During WWII Rekindles Memories of Forgotten Battle

    Death of Last Surviving Alaskan Taken by Japan During WWII Rekindles Memories of Forgotten Battle

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Gregory Golodoff spent most of his years on a quiet Alaska island, living an ordinary life, managing a co-op store, fishing for crab and serving as the village council president. But Golodoff's recent death at the age of 84 has reopened a chapter of American history and stirred up memories of a long-forgotten Japanese invasion that prompted the only World War II battle on North American soil.

    Golodoff was the last survivor among 41 residents imprisoned in after Japanese troops captured remote Attu Island during World War II. He was 3 when the island was taken. He died Nov. 17 in Anchorage, his family said. His sister, Elizabeth “Liz” Golodoff Kudrin, the second-to-last surviving Attuan, died in February at 82. Three of their siblings died in captivity.

    “The eldest generation has passed away to the other side,” said Helena Schmitz, the great-granddaughter of the last Attu chief, who died in Japan along with his son.

    Attu is a desolate, mountainous slab of tundra, about 20 miles wide by 35 miles long, and sits between the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea on the volcanic Ring of Fire. It's the most westerly island in the Aleutian chain — closer to than mainland Alaska — and was one of just a few U.S. territories, along with , the and the nearby island of Kiska, taken by enemy forces during the war.

    The American effort to reclaim Attu in 1943 amid frigid…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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