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NPR: Forgotten For Decades, WWII Alaska Natives Finally Get Their Due

A story about an NPR All Things Considered report on the more than 6,300 Alaska Natives who served in the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II.
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NPR's All Things Considered reported May 28 on the more than 6,300 Alaska Natives who volunteered to serve with the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II, a group that's largely gone without recognition over the last 60 plus years.

The Alaska Territorial Guard never had to fight off a full-fledged Japanese invasion, but the service members — who served without pay — did rescue a downed pilot and secured key airfields across the massive Alaskan territory. The unit dissolved at the end of the war, seemingly from the pages of history, too.

"ATG was almost [a] forgotten branch that took part in World War II," Laban Iyatunguk told NPR's Quil Lawrence.

The U.S. government certainly seemed to forget about them: It took until 2000 to get the ATG recognized as veterans, then several years more for the bureaucracy to start registering them for benefits.

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Read the rest of NPR's story, "Forgotten For Decades, WWII Alaskans Finally Get Their Due," by clicking here. Also available on that site is a podcast of the All Things Considered to listen to and download, plus a full transcript of the broadcast.


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