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History Rediscovered: Report from the Aleutians

History Rediscovered: Report from the Aleutians

Report from the Aleutians is the first of three important movies made by filmmaker John Huston during WWII. Assigned to the Signal Corps in 1942, Huston was sent to Adak in the remote Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. There, Huston filmed the bitter campaign to oust Japanese forces from Kiska, which they seized during the offensive that led to the Battle of Midway.

Unlike Midway, where America dealt Japan a devastating blow, the battle of the Aleutians was one of attrition. As a result, Huston's portrait focuses on the day-to-day activities of ordinary G.I. Joes, who faced difficult duty in a cold wasteland with courage, resourcefulness, and character. Foremost among these were the pilots and crews who flew monotonous patrols in difficult weather and who experienced real terror while flying bombing raids over Japanese positions. Huston's moving portrait was criticized within the War Department for its tone, but nevertheless received an Oscar nomination in 1944.
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