Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese POW

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Overview

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 ...

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Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese POW

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Overview

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. 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882409818
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Pages: 319
  • Sales rank: 852,919
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


A Michigan native, with a B.A. and M.A., Mary Breu taught elementary school for 34 years. She and her husband live in South Carolina with their two children. Etta Jones is Breu's great aunt.
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Read an Excerpt

"No military decisions had been made when Etta and Foster announced to their friends they were going to Attu. The reaction was still one of alarm. 'Don't go to Attu! Why, that is practically in Japan's back yard!' The Joneses disagreed. Etta said, 'We laughed at them. What would Japan want with Attu?' Both Etta and Foster were sixty-two years old. They had enthusiastically accepted the position and planned to stay there until they retired."     Attu 1941-1942, page 149

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Table of Contents

Preface                                                                           9

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

Acknowledgements                                                      281

Notes                                                                          283

Bibliography                                                                305

Index                                                                           307

About the author                                                          317

About the Afterword writer                                            319

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 8, 2013

    I loved this story - could not put the book down

    Miss Etta moved to Alaska in the late 1920s with her sister. Imagine the adventuresome spirit!
    Many precious letters home provide the basis of this true story as told by the niece of the sisters. Life in Alaska is described in vivid detail in those letters and the invasion by the Japanese is horrifying. I could not put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    reccomend

    great read,,,but was a little sketchy after her release as p.o.w.

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    Last Letters from Attu

    Great read, especially for anyone who has traveled in Alaska and knows its vastness. Very interesting history most of us are unaware of occuring during WWII. The author did an amazing amount of research. The original letters were very informative with descriptions of life and fun during the winter especially. Etta Jones was a brave and wonderful woman and was a joy to know her through her grand niece's writings.

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