Amchitka was easily one of the most remote and inhospitable U.S. military outposts of World War II. It was so remote that during the Cold War, the U.S. detonated three nuclear warheads on the island in various underground tests. Located about 80 miles from Kiska Island in the Aleutian chain, American forces landed there unopposed in January 1943 and quickly built an airfield there to support the final stages of the campaign in the far north. Once the Japanese had been driven from Attu and Kiska, Amchitka-based Navy patrol bombers and 11th AF aircraft began periodic attacks on the Japanese Kurile Islands.
It was a dreary place to be stationed. The weather was awful, accidents frequent, mud or frozen snowdrifts the polarities of daily living. Yet, the men exiled to Amchitka did their best to make the place home. This included their own version of an American tradition–the Thanksgiving Day football game.