The 1000 Mile War: The Aleutian Islands

From 1944 to 1945, TSGT Nathan Luger was sent to one of the most remote islands in the world. Attu Island is at the end of the Aleutian chain and is 1500 air miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. It holds the distinction of being the only WWII land battle in North America. The Japanese occupied the island in June 1942 after the Battle of Midway. In May 1943 U.S. troops landed on Attu and eventually recaptured the island after heavy fighting that ended with one of the largest banzai charges of WWII. Out of the 1000 Japanese troops who began the charge, only 28 remained alive.

Nathan was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 27, 1919. He joined the Army in May 1938 and was sent to Ft. Dix, New Jersey for basic training. He then joined the 112th Field Artillery HD in what was to be the Army’s last horse drawn artillery unit. He decided to transfer to the Army Air Corp and would be trained as a Morse code/radio operator and a waist gunner. Based out of Columbia Air Base in South Carolina, his crew would practice bombing targets along Myrtle Beach.