The isolated Aleutian Islands became stepping stones to the United States for the Japanese military during World War II. Their thrust was terminated by bitter battles in 1943, but in the late 1950s, another threat emerged—the Cold War. Once again, the Aleutian islands became a battlefield—an electronic battlefield for the most sophisticated monitoring and highly secretive electronic gathering equipment then in existence.
Because of intense Arctic cold and extreme winds the unique and massive monitoring equipment had to be strong and function during snow, sleet and winds over 120 mph, while personnel who manned and maintained them were also subject to identical conditions. Aircraft for secret reconnaissance missions had to launch and land under inconceivable conditions and on occasion, some did not return or crashed. Additionally, reconnaissance aircraft were subject to hostile fighters and anti-aircraft missiles.
The highly restricted devices, capable of detecting objects in space and apparatus to monitor satellites and missiles have never been photographed or discussed other than by authorized operating personnel prior to the release of this book. Permission for its release has been authorized by the United States National Security Administration.
Captain Gerald W. Butler, of the Massachusetts State Guard, is the former curator of Fort Warren and Fort Independence, Boston Harbor, and Fort Rodman, New Bedford, Massachusetts. He has published six books and numerous periodicals on seacoast fortifications and served as a military consultant to military museums and state parks. He was the former historian for United States Navy mine warfare units in New England, and his illustrations of seacoast weaponry and fortifications are published worldwide. He served in the elite United States Regular Army’s Intelligence Security Agency’s Special Operations Unit at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Shemya Island, Alaska.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Extent: 144 pages
Illustrations: 110 black-and-white photographs