June 7

This Day in History

World War II

Jun 7, 1942:

Japanese land troops on the islands of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutians

On this day in 1942, Japanese soldiers occupy the American islands of Attu and Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, as the Axis power continues to expand its defensive perimeter.

Having been defeated at the battle of Midway—stopped by the United States from even landing on the Midway Islands—the Japanese nevertheless proved successful in their invasion of the Aleutians, which had been American territory since purchased from Russia in 1867. Killing 25 American troops upon landing in Attu, the Japanese proceeded to relocate and intern the inhabitants, as well as those at Kiska. America would finally invade and recapture the Aleutians one year later—killing most of the 2,300 Japanese troops defending it—in three weeks of fighting.

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