Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 09:27 am
In 1964, I had the good fortune to see Dutch Harbor, which is in the Aleutian Islands. The unfortunate part of the experience is, I was a sailor and the crew was confined to the ship. So, while a few shipmates made incredible catches, fishing from off the fantail, I stared yearningly at the empty town. All I wished for was to walk the streets a bit, perhaps look in a few windows, but we were forbidden to even touch the soil.

In those days, it was used as a refueling station. The town had been abandoned by all except a seven person group, whose only purpose was to serve the fueling operation.

I looked up at the low hills, which were shrouded in very low clouds, and vowed to one day return, if fate would let me. Well, it seems pretty definite I shall not return. I would only have the funds if I won the lottery.

Searching Dutch Harbor online a few years ago, I disovered that the island now hosts a resort. I wonder if any a2k readers have visited there, or if any has a special knowledge of that remote little piece of America?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 3,941 • Replies: 54
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edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 09:43 am
Unalaska is the name of the city there.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f49/boosassy/Winter2Reduced.jpg
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 09:46 am
My first post was written from the point of view of an uneducated sailor, 35 years ago. Here is some Wickipedia info on it.

Unalaska, AlaskaLocation of Unalaska, Alaska
Coordinates: 53°53′20″N 166°31′38″W / 53.88889°N 166.52722°W / 53.88889; -166.52722
Country United States
State Alaska
Census Area Aleutians West
Area
- Total 212.3 sq mi (549.9 km2)
- Land 111.0 sq mi (287.5 km2)
- Water 101.3 sq mi (262.4 km2)
Elevation 13 ft (4 m)
Population (2007)[1]
- Total 3,836
- Density 38.6/sq mi (14.9/km2)
Time zone Alaska (AKST) (UTC-9)
- Summer (DST) AKDT (UTC-8)
Area code(s) 907
FIPS code 02-80770
GNIS feature ID 1419424
Unalaska (Iluulux̂[2] in Aleut) is a small city in the Aleutians West Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska.

According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,347.[3] Almost all of the community's port facilities are on Amaknak Island, better known as Dutch Harbor or just "Dutch". It includes Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears, U.S. Army, a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Dutch Harbor lies within the city limits of Unalaska and is connected to Unalaska by a bridge. Amaknak Island is home to almost 59 percent of the city's population, although it has less than 3 percent of its land area.

The Aleut or Unangan have lived on Unalaska Island for thousands of years.[4] The Russian fur trade reached Unalaska when Stepan Glotov and his crew arrived on August 1, 1759. The Unangan people, who were the first to inhabit the island of Unalaska, named it “Ounalashka” meaning ‘Near the Peninsula’. The name Unalaska is probably an English variation of this name. The regional native corporation has adopted this moniker, and is known as the Ounalashka Corporation.[2] Dutch Harbor was so named by the Russians because they believed that a Dutch vessel was the first European ship to enter the harbor.

0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 09:49 am
@edgarblythe,
We evoked this place at least three times in the "Where am I" game, and even talked about its beautiful Russian orthodox church:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/4/5095925_037e748d0b.jpghttp://www.travelwithachallenge.com/Images/Travel_Article_Library/Alaska-Ferry-Trip/Dutch-Harbor.jpg




And this is the resort there:The Grand Aleutian
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 10:03 am
Early in my geo job world (like 1975), I was part of a seismic crew that was locating set up spots for the LORAN-C grid (which was put in place in the mid 1970s and abandoned within 10 years). We were ferried over to Dutch HArb or and stayed in the godawfullest shacks in nearby Akutan that were made of plastic coated sammiched plywood and styrofoam sides. It was always cold , wet, and windy. but we had choppers available to take us all over the Aleutians. We also stayed in a place called Chignic, which was similarly viewful.
I never took any pix because I was busy writing at 3 in the AM (Light was all day and night, itd drive you nuts).

Cold, wet, windy, and lights wont shut off.
And we had oil heaters t5hat were always gelling up and had to be torched back into service. And they smelled like a diesel engine thats just starting up.

edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 10:49 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Early in my geo job world (like 1975), I was part of a seismic crew that was locating set up spots for the LORAN-C grid (which was put in place in the mid 1970s and abandoned within 10 years). We were ferried over to Dutch HArb or and stayed in the godawfullest shacks in nearby Akutan that were made of plastic coated sammiched plywood and styrofoam sides. It was always cold , wet, and windy. but we had choppers available to take us all over the Aleutians. We also stayed in a place called Chignic, which was similarly viewful.
I never took any pix because I was busy writing at 3 in the AM (Light was all day and night, itd drive you nuts).

Cold, wet, windy, and lights wont shut off.
And we had oil heaters t5hat were always gelling up and had to be torched back into service. And they smelled like a diesel engine thats just starting up.




Hmm. Didn't notice any of that from the deck of a destroyer.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 12:33 pm
All I know about it is that it is the setting for parts of the show "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel.
The fishing boats are all based out of their, or at least start the season there.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:55 pm
I always associate Dutch Harbor with World War II. There was a cruiser division there in November, 1941, just before the Pearl Harbor attack, which sailed, i think, in the last week of November, as the Japanese were approaching their launch point. (It's a damned big ocean, it was highly unlikely that the USN cruiser division would stumble on Japan's First Air Fleet.) The naval base at Dutch Harbor was built up considerably, especially after the Japanese air attack on Dutch Harbor. The Japanese also briefly occupied Attu and Kiska Islands. The U.S. Army Air Force did a big build up on Unalaska Island, too.

The Japanese campaign could actually be seen as a success, even though they lost over half of the nearly 9000 troops they used. The response by the Americans was to send in nearly 150,000 troops. But it was a sterile success, because by the time the American build up really go under way, 150,000 troops was drop in the bucket.

I found a section from the University of Alaska for images of Dutch Harbor in World War II, which you can see by clicking here, by searching for "Dutch Harbor+World War II." You can see each photo in larger form by clicking on the thumbnail.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 01:58 pm
http://content.lib.washington.edu/alaskawcanada/image/263.jpg

Some of EB's predecessors at Dutch Harbor in 1943.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 03:48 pm
@Setanta,
We did a seismic reflection on kiska to set a repeater tower.As I recall, this island was so far out that it was almost a full days flight by plane and helicopter with fuel stop at Akutan and a fuel stash at Kiska so we could make it back with reserve. As I recall, the entire Aleutian chain is almost as long as the entire US mainland (I remember being given the approximate distance as from say NY to Las Vegas.)

When the Japanese took Kiska, we could have just let em go, theyd have a night,mare of a supply line and they really didnt have anything that gave them a foothold to anything else. I suppose the strategy was one of hutzpah rather than actual tactical/ strategic importance
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:03 pm
@farmerman,
Their strategic goal was a diversion of U.S. forces, which is why i said it was successful. The forces diverted, however, were not a significant contribution of men and material, however, which is why i said their strategic victory was sterile. The Japanese had almost seven million troops in China, Indo-China and Burma, and only a very small force of Englishmen and Americans were detailed to deal with this--in Burma, where the Japanese had more forces guarding the communications than were in actual, combat contact with the Slim's and Stillwell's forces. A huge amount of Japanese force was basically left hanging out to dry in China, Formosa (Taiwan) and in Indo-China, where they were needed to guard either military resources (such as the air bases on Formosa) or strategic supplies. Burma was most important to the Allies as a base for air operations. Kenney's South West Pacific Area Air Force command was the major resource for attacking Japanese strategic supplies--they didn't care if they took out or occupied the mines or the refineries or the oil fields, so long as they prevented the shipping from making it to Japan. After late 1943, when the Navy finally got a decent torpedo, the USN submariners did the final noose tightening around Japanese supply lines. In every situation in which the Japanese had seized real estate for the strategic minerals or for petroleum, they were obliged to occupy the territory to protect the resources. Judicious use of air and naval resources allowed the Allies to interdict the flow of supplies to Japan without actually being obliged to fight the Japanese troops on the ground. This is essentially what MacArthur did in the southwest Pacific area, which is to say to bypass major Japanese forces, taking bases from which to attack them from the air, and to cut off their supply lines. That, of course, ended when he landed in the Philippines and had to attack them head on. But basically, millions of Japanese troops, using up enormous amounts of supplies (lotta rice to feed that many bellies) were hung out to dry, contributing nothing to the defense of the empire.

The attack on Alaska was an attempt to divert American forces in the same way, but it was far too small-time to have any significant effect. Probably the most important thing it accomplished was to divert naval and naval air forces at a critical time, but in the balance, even that proved insignificant.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:12 pm
@Setanta,
We carried hats like those in our seabags, but never actally put them on. The white ones were all-purpose in the 1960s.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:15 pm
@edgarblythe,
My brother (who was in the Navy at the same time) told me that they called them "Donald Duck" hats, and were only obliged to wear them, along with their blue wool uniform, when they were in New York.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:19 pm
@Setanta,
True. I eventually lost mine and it made not the slightest difference, as we never had a full seabag inspection again, after boot camp.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:23 pm
If i understood him correctly, he wore his fairly often, because he was in a division which operated with NATO, and was often in New York. He was a fire control technician on a missile cruiser.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:30 pm
@Setanta,
Us California based destroyer gobs were the rats of the Navy. He he. Razz
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 04:31 pm
I'm sure you joined to "see the world," EB. Saw a good deal more of it than you had before you went in, didn't you?
hamburger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 05:07 pm
@edgarblythe,
the alaska ferries make a weekly run from seldovia to dutch harbour and ports in between .
takes a bit of effort to go through the pdf schedules .

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/index.shtml

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/images/graphics/routes_sw_map.png


had given it some thought a few years ago but took an alaska cruise instead - it's not exactly inexpensive to travel up there by ferry . of course the regular cruises don't go to dutch harbour , though some cruiseships do .
dutch harbor = unalaska

cruise ship schedule

http://unalaska-ak.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B8FE3EFCE-8388-4CAD-8CB7-D062A8C6F65E%7D



edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 06:21 pm
@Setanta,
I love my travel experiences in the Navy, Setanta. But for that I would not have laid eyes on Hawaii, Midway, the Phillipines, Japan, Hong Kong - saw the outline of Guam - even Seatle. I admit I was not thrilled to be in the military after a while, even though it was voluntary, but I would do it again, given the circumstance.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2009 06:23 pm
@hamburger,
By golly, once I win the lottery, I am still going there.
 

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