Natural-color image of Dutch Harbor
|Time zone||UTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-8 (AKDT)|
Dutch Harbor is a harbor on Amaknak Island in Unalaska, Alaska. It was the location of the Battle of Dutch Harbor in June 1942, and was one of the few sites in the United States to be subjected to aerial bombardment by a foreign power during World War II. It was also one of the few sites, besides the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, in incorporated U.S. territory to be bombed by the Japanese in the war.
Dutch Harbor is now the home of an important fishing industry.
Druzhinin, the commander of the Russian ship Zakharii I Elisaveta, is credited for discovering the deep-water harbor now known as Dutch Harbor.
Dutch Harbor is located within the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, more precisely on Amaknak Island in the Fox Islands. A mile long spit extending from the northeast end of Amaknak Island makes Dutch Harbor a natural port, protecting ships from the waves and currents of the Bering Sea, although winds off the Bering Sea have tossed shipments from decks of ships. Dutch Harbor is close to some of the richest fishing in the world, and it is ice-free.
The native people are known as Aleut. When the Russians arrived, they exploited the Aleut by taxing them in fur pelts. The Aleut accepted the Russian Orthodox Church because it offered them support and educated their children.[ citation needed ]
The Russian-American Company operated from 1799 through the mid-1800s. It used Dutch Harbor in the transport of goods, mainly seal and sea otter fur. In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States. Fur was the main export in Alaska after the United States took control. Hutchinson, Kohl, & Company of San Francisco took over the assets of the Russian America Company in 1867, but it sold out in 1868, to the Alaska Commercial Company. A decline in the sea otter population slowed trade in 1895.
The year 1897, brought a crowd of potential prospectors looking to get rich from the Alaska gold rush.
World War II brought the U.S. Army and Navy, and their supplies, to Dutch Harbor at the Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears, U.S. Army. The first army troops arrived in June 1941 and the navy air base was finished in September 1941. During the war, Dutch Harbor was also used to house refugees evacuated from other Aleutian Islands.
U.S. Army troops and civilian workers alike spent time at "Blackies", the only bar in the area. This establishment had cheap beer and 50-cent shots of whiskey, but no stools or chairs as they "splintered too easily in event of a fight". Other entertainment included a brothel named "Pleasure Island", but this was closed in 1941 and later replaced by part of the U.S. Navy submarine base. The 500-man mess hall doubled as a theater. The tickets for military were 15 cents and 35 cents for civilian workers.
In early 1942, intelligence officers of the U.S. Navy predicted that there would be a Japanese attack in the North Pacific area, and naval codebreakers warned Dutch Harbor of the impending attack. On June 3, 1942, at 5:45 a.m., 20 Japanese planes from two aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese navy bombed Dutch Harbor in the "Battle of Dutch Harbor," targeting the radio station and the petroleum storage tanks, and continuing the fight a day later. It was the first aerial attack on the continental United States during World War II.
By mid-1942, a small submarine base was in place, with a squadron of old U.S. Navy S-class submarines; these were withdrawn by late 1943 due to the availability of longer-range submarines (such as the Gato class) operating elsewhere.
By May 1943, a peak of 10,151 sailors and 9,976 soldiers were stationed at the base. [ citation needed ]
In 1947, the last units of the U.S. Navy left Dutch Harbor and the base was decommissioned.
In 1952, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stored 232 surplus buildings on 448 acres of land of the Fort Mears Military Reservation.
During the mid-1980s, the U.S. government finally funded a cleanup of the derelict fort, and the area was turned over for commercial use. The U.S. Navy also scrapped its air base on it.
The harbor is prominently featured in the Discovery Channel reality television series Deadliest Catch , which has originated from there since 2005.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Dutch Harbor first appeared on the 1930 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. It returned lastly in 1940, and did not appear again separately afterwards. It was later annexed into Unalaska.
Dutch Harbor is ranked as a top fishing port with more than a billion dollars transferred each year. Huge harvests of pollock and cod in the Bering Sea are part of this total. The Bering Sea has a continental shelf that is one of the world's largest, and supports a rich ecosystem.
Akutan is a city on Akutan Island in the Aleutians East Borough of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, United States. The population was 1,027 at the 2010 census, up from 713 in 2000. Akutan Harbor is adjacent.
Unalaska is the chief center of population in the Aleutian Islands. The city is in the Aleutians West Census Area, a regional component of the Unorganized Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off mainland Alaska. The population was 4,376 at the 2010 census, which is 79% of the entire Aleutians West Census Area. Unalaska is the second largest city in the Unorganized Borough, behind Bethel.
Attu is an island in the Near Islands. It is the westernmost point of the U.S. state of Alaska. The island became uninhabited in 2010, making it the largest uninhabited island in the United States.
Kiska is an island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. It is about 22 miles (35 km) long and varies in width from 1.5 to 6 miles. It is part of Aleutian Islands Wilderness and as such, special permissions are required to visit it. The island has no permanent population.
The Fox Islands are a group of islands in the eastern Aleutian Islands of the U.S. state of Alaska. The Fox Islands are the closest to mainland North America in the Aleutian chain, and just east of Samalga Pass and the Islands of Four Mountains group.
Umnak is one of the Fox Islands of the Aleutian Islands. With 686.01 square miles (1,776.76 km2) of land area, it is the third largest island in the Aleutian archipelago and the 19th largest island in the United States. The island is home to a large volcanic caldera on Mount Okmok and the only field of geysers in Alaska. It is separated from Unalaska Island by Umnak Pass. In 2000, Umnak was permanently inhabited by only 39 people and by 2010, around 18, placing the settlement of Nikolski in diffiulty and its school was closed.
Adak Island is an island near the western extent of the Andreanof Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Alaska's southernmost town, Adak, is located on the island. The island has a land area of 274.59 square miles (711.18 km2), measuring 33.9 miles (54.5 km) on length and 22 miles (35 km) on width, making it the 25th largest island in the United States.
Amaknak Island or Umaknak Island is the most populated island in the Aleutian Islands.
The Aleutian Islands campaign was a military campaign conducted by the United States and Japan in the Aleutian Islands, part of the Territory of Alaska, in the American Theater and the Pacific Theater of World War II starting on June 3, 1942. In the only two invasions of the United States during the war, a small Japanese force occupied the islands of Attu and Kiska, where the remoteness of the islands and the challenges of weather and terrain delayed a larger American-Canadian force sent to eject them for nearly a year. The islands' strategic value was their ability to control Pacific transportation routes and so US General Billy Mitchell stated to the U.S. Congress in 1935, "I believe that in the future, whoever holds Alaska will hold the world. I think it is the most important strategic place in the world."
USS S-34 (SS-139) was an S-class submarine of the United States Navy.
USS S-18 (SS-123) was a first-group S-class submarine of the United States Navy. Her keel was laid down on 15 August 1918 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched on 29 April 1920 sponsored by Miss Virginia Bell Johnson, and commissioned on 3 April 1924 with Lieutenant Elliot M. Senn in command.
USCGC Onondaga (WPG-79), a United States Coast Guard cutter, was built by Defoe Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan, commissioned on 11 September 1934. From her commissioning until 1941, Onondaga was stationed at Astoria, Oregon, where she performed important law enforcement duties and rendered much assistance to ships in distress. Each year she patrolled the annual pelagic seal migration to the Pribilof Islands, and she attempted to prevent out of season halibut fishing.
The Aleutian World War II National Historic Area is a U.S. National Historic Site on Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Island Chain of Alaska. It offers visitors a glimpse of both natural and cultural history, and traces the historic footprints of the U.S. Army Base, Fort Schwatka, located at the Ulakta Head on Mount Ballyhoo. The fort, 800 miles west of Anchorage, the nearest large urban center, was one of four coastal defense posts built to protect Dutch Harbor during World War II; Fort Schwatka is also the highest coastal battery ever constructed in the United States. The other Army coastal defense facilities were Fort Mears, Fort Learnard, and Fort Brumback. Engineers designed the concrete observation posts and command stations to withstand earthquakes and 100 mph winds. Although today, many of the bunkers and wooden structures of Fort Schwatka have collapsed, the gun mounts and lookouts are among the most intact in the country.
The Battle of Dutch Harbor took place on June 3–4, 1942, when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched two aircraft carrier raids on the Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and U.S. Army Fort Mears at Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island, during the Aleutian Islands Campaign of World War II. The bombing marked the first aerial attack by an enemy on the continental United States, and was the second time in history that the continental U.S. was bombed by someone working for a foreign power, the first being the accidental bombing of Naco, Arizona in 1929.
The Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears were the two military installations built next to each other in Dutch Harbor, on Amaknak Island of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, by the United States in response to the growing war threat with Imperial Japan during World War II. In 1938, the Navy Board recommended the construction which began in July 1940. The first United States Army troops arrived in June 1941 and an air base constructed by the United States Navy was finished in September 1941. At the time of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, these were the only military installations in the Aleutian Islands.
Unalaska is a volcanic island in the Fox Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in the US state of Alaska located at. The island has a land area of 1,051 square miles (2,720 km2). It measures 79.4 mi (127.8 km) long and 34.7 mi (55.8 km) wide. The city of Unalaska, Alaska, covers part of the island and all of neighboring Amaknak Island where the Port of Dutch Harbor is located. The population of the island excluding Amaknak as of the 2000 census was 1,759 residents.
The Aleutian Islands, also called the Aleut Islands or Aleutic Islands and known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller islands. Most of the Aleutian Islands belong to the U.S. state of Alaska, but some belong to the Russian federal subject of Kamchatka Krai. They form part of the Aleutian Arc in the Northern Pacific Ocean, occupying an area of 6,821 sq mi (17,666 km2) and extending about 1,200 mi (1,900 km) westward from the Alaska Peninsula toward the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, and act as a border between the Bering Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Crossing longitude 180°, at which point east and west longitude end, the archipelago contains both the westernmost part of the United States by longitude and the easternmost by longitude. The westernmost U.S. island in real terms, however, is Attu Island, west of which runs the International Date Line. While nearly all the archipelago is part of Alaska and is usually considered as being in the "Alaskan Bush", at the extreme western end, the small, geologically related Commander Islands belong to Russia.
The Japanese occupation of Attu was the result of an invasion of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska during World War II. Imperial Japanese Army troops landed on 7 June 1942 the day after the invasion of Kiska. Along with the Kiska landing, it was the first time that the continental United States was invaded and occupied by a foreign power since the War of 1812, and was the second of the only two invasions of the United States during World War II. The occupation ended with the Allied victory in the Battle of Attu on 30 May 1943.
The military history of the Aleutian Islands began almost immediately following the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire by the United States in 1867. Prior to the early 20th century, the Aleutian Islands were essentially ignored by the United States Armed Forces, although the islands played a small role in the Bering Sea Arbitration when a number of British and American vessels were stationed at Unalaska to enforce the arbitrators' decision. By the early 20th century, a number of war strategies examined the possibility of conflict breaking out between the Empire of Japan and the United States. While the Aleutian Islands were seen as a potential staging point for invasions by either side, this possibility was dismissed owing to the islands' dismal climate. In 1922, the Washington Naval Treaty was signed, after which the United States Navy began to take an interest in the islands. However, nothing of significance was to materialize until World War II.
MV Eider was an American motor schooner in commission in the fleet of the United States Bureau of Fisheries from 1919 to 1940 and in the fleet of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1940 to 1942 and again in the late 1940s. She ran a passenger-cargo service between Unalaska and the Pribilof Islands, and also carried passengers, supplies, and provisions to destinations on the mainland of the Territory of Alaska and in the Aleutian Islands. She occasionally supported research activities in Alaskan waters and the North Pacific Ocean, and she conducted patrols to protect Alaskan fisheries and marine mammals. In 1924, she provided logistical support to the first aerial circumnavigation of the world.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dutch Harbor .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Dutch Harbor-Unalaska .|