-Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News
Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese P.O.W.by Mary Breu
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
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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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"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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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
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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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!
Beamed proudly and waved to the Clan with her tail.
great read,,,but was a little sketchy after her release as p.o.w.
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.