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Posted on May 14, 2013 in Stuff We Like

WW2 Medal of Honor Recipient to be Honored with Plaque on Attu Island

By Media Release

This is taken from a media release received by Armchair General.

Seventy years ago this month, an act of military heroism helped pinned-down U.S. forces rout the Japanese from a remote Aleutian Island and end a fierce American land battle of World War II.  To clear a mountain pass, Pvt. Joseph P. Martinez charged into enemy fire at the bloody Battle of Attu, on the westernmost point of North America; he was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor. Next month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will honor the Colorado soldier’s sacrifice by installing a plaque on Attu, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

The Attu installation will add one more task to the crowded schedule of Service and refuge scientists aboard the research ship Tiglax (pronounced TEKH-lah, Aleut for eagle), which leaves Homer May 18 for the Alaska Peninsula and beyond. En route, staff will conduct seabird counts and surveys of bird colonies; deploy bird data- recording devices for later retrieval; monitor an island’s recovery after a volcanic eruption; and post biologists and supplies on far-flung, normally uninhabited refuge islands for three months of seabird monitoring.


On Attu, refuge biologists and archeologists will also assess environmental threats from wartime debris, chemical contaminants and unexploded ordnance. They will set guidelines for disposing of remains that threaten human safety and island wildlife such as salmon, sea lions and seabirds, including two rare species: Evermann’s rock ptarmigan and Aleutian cackling geese.

Alaska Maritime Refuge war sites are part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument created in 2008 by President George W. Bush.



  1. I doubt you will even read this, but here goes anyway. So, explain to me again why there is a memorial to the Japanese aggressors on United States soil on the island of Attu. Did the Japanese not invade Attu? Did they not intend to use Attu as a base from which to continue their war and kill Americans? Was there ultimate goal not to invade the mainland United States to enslave and kill Americans as during their bloody Manchurian occupation? What about the plaque honoring Joseph P. Martinez that was conceived, designed, cast, and paid for by individual American citizens without any government support or aid? Why are those anonymous people not even mentioned in your article? They want only to honor Joe Martinez, a true American hero. Why would you need the excuse of counting birds and assessing munitions threats than simply honoring Pvt. Martinez and the brave and dedicated American soldiers who drove the Japanese from American soil? Thank God for them; they helped give me the right to express my opinion here without threat of retaliation. Fiedlis et verus.

    • Stephen, the information presented here is from a media release received by ACG. Normally, we note at the beginning of the piece that such articles are media releases, but for some reason that was overlooked on this one. I’ve added a sentence for clarification. Our partner site,, has an article on the battle of Attu, and Joe Martinez’s actions are described in it. If you would like to read it, go to Battle of the Aleutian Islands: Recapturing Attu,

  2. I’m afraid my point was missed completely.

    Have a bice day.