Alaskan Air Defense and the Japanese Invasion of the Aleutians
Alaskan Air Defense and the Japanese Invasion of the Aleutians, by Arthur B. Ferguson (1944). 115 pages. (Air Force Historical Research Agency)
Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:
- Why did the Army Air Forces in the Aleutians borrow torpedoes from the Navy and repeatedly asked for some of their own?
- Why wasn’t Dutch Harbor attacked the same day as Pearl Harbor?
- What were some arguments for and against having bases in the Aleutians?
Published in 1944, this is perhaps the first effort to pull together a history of the air war in Alaska. The first PDF file, AFD-090602-025, is a report divided into three main parts:
- The Problem of Alaskan Air Defense, 1934-1941 – Focuses on early efforts at air defense. Early doubts about whether Alaska needed air bases ended with decision to build an air base in the Aleutians. The difficulties in building are discussed.
- The Problem of Alaskan Air Defense, 1941-June 1942 – Focuses on the difficulty of supplying the air bases in Alaska.
- The Japanese Invasion of the Aleutians – Notes state of readiness on eve of June 3, 1942 attack on Dutch Harbor. Section ends with conclusions regarding the broad issues of Alaskan defense.
After the main text of this work are endnotes, a bibliographical statement on sources used, a glossary and the following appendices:
- Record of Activation, Strength and Key Personnel
- Alaskan Defense: Supporting Plan, Eleventh Air Force
- Station Lists
- Aircraft Status
- Combat Summaries
The very first page of this document features a World War II era map of Alaska with airbases, operating airdromes, staging fields, depots, aircraft warnings and towns or cities.
The second PDF file, AFD-090602-026, contains a short (20 pages or so) account of activity after the Japanese had retired to Kiksa and Attu. It is followed by a chronology of the 11th Air Force. Both files are a part of an unpublished manuscript.