Synopses & Reviews
Etta Jones was not a World War II soldier or a war time spy. She was an American school teacher who in 1941 who along with her husband, Foster agreed to teach the Natives on the remote Aleutian island of Attu. They were both sixty-two years old when they left Alaska's mainland for Attu against the advice of friends and family. Etta, and her sister moved to the Territory of Alaska in 1922. She planned to stay only one year as a vacation, but this 40 something year old nurse from back east met Foster Jones and fell in love. She married and for nearly twenty years they taught in remote Alaskan villages including their last posting on Attu Island at the far end of the Aleutian island chain. Etta's life changed forever on that Sunday morning in June 1942 when almost 2,000 Japanese military men invaded Attu Island and Etta became a prisoner of war. She was taken from American soil to Japan and given up for dead. This is the story of a brave American, a woman of courage and resolve with inextinguishable spirit.
Etta Jones was a nurse and teacher in the Alaska Bush. She was living on Attu when Japanese took the island in World War II and, with the rest of the civilian population, incarcerated in Japan for the rest of the war. Her letters and photographs have been used by her grand-niece, Mary Breu for this book.
---Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News
In June 1942 the Japanese army invaded Attu, a remote island at the end of the Aleutian Chain. Soldiers occupied the village for two months before taking its Alaska Native residents to Japan, where they were held until the end of the war. After harassing American and Canadian forces for little over a year, the Japanese forces quietly withdrew. After the war, the Attuans' return to Alaska was not a joyful reunion. When they were released, the Attuans were not allowed to return to their home, but were settled instead in Atka, several hundred miles from Attu.and#160;
Attu Boy is Nick Golodoffand#8217;s memoir of his experience as a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II as a young boy. Nick was six years old when Japanese soldiers invaded his remote Aleutian village. Along with theand#160; other Unangan Attu residents, Nick and his family were taken to Hokkaido, Japan. Only 25 of the Attuans survived the war; the others died of hunger, malnutrition, and disease. Nick tells his story from the unique viewpoint of a child who experienced friendly relationships with some of the Japanese captors along with harsh treatment from others. Other voices join Nickand#8217;s to give the book a broad sense of the struggles, triumphs, and heartbreak of lives disrupted by war.and#160; and#160;
In the quiet of morning, exactly six months after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese touched down on American soil. Landing on the remote Alaska island of Attu, they assailed an entire village, holding the Alaskan villagers for two months and eventually corralling all survivors into a freighter bound for Japan.
One of those survivors, Nick Golodoff, became a prisoner of war at just six years old. He was among the dozens of Unangan Attu residents swept away to Hokkaido, and one of only twenty-five to survive. Attu Boy tells Golodoffand#8217;s story of these harrowing years as he found both friendship and cruelty at the hands of the Japanese. It offers a rare look at the lives of civilian prisoners and their captors in WWII-era Japan. It also tells of Golodoffand#8217;s bittersweet return to a homeland torn apart by occupation and forced internments. Interwoven with other voices from Attu, this richly illustrated memoir is a testament to the struggles, triumphs, and heartbreak of lives disrupted by war.
About the Author
Except for his imprisonment in Japan, Nick Golodoff
(1935-2013) lived his entire life in the Aleutian Islands.
Rachel Mason is a cultural anthropologist for the National Park Service in Anchorage, Alaska.
Table of Contents
To Alaska 13
Tanana: 1922-1923 27
Tanana: 1923-1930 37
Tanana, Tatitlek, and Old Harbor: 1928-1932 53
Prom Kodiak to Kipnuk: 1932 70
Kipnuk Culture: 1932 79
Letters from Kipnuk: 1932-1933 91
Kipnuk School: 1932-1934 112
Letters from Kipnuk: 1934-1937 119
Old Harbor: 1937-1941 135
Attu: 1941-1942 148
Invasion: 1942 167
The Australians: January-July 1942 181
Bund Hotel, Yokohama: July 1942 193
Yokohama Yacht Club: 1942-1943 203
Yokohama Yacht Club: 1943-1944 213
Totsuka: 1944-1945 227
Rescue: August 31, 1945 245
Return to the United States: September 1945 255
Home: 1945-1965 266
Afterword by Ray Hudson 279
About the author 317
About the Afterword writer 319