Alaska Coast Guard says goodbye to its last LORAN station

Friday, August 27 2010

Unalaska, AK – Today, Alaska's Coast Guard bids farewell to the LORAN navigation system -- and the United States shrinks a little, too. KUCB's Alexandra Gutierrez has more.

Twenty Coast Guardsmen are right now the only inhabitants of Attu, America's westernmost island. After today, they'll be gone. It will be the first time the island will be uninhabited in recorded history.

The LORAN station -- which stands for long range navigation -- has been running for almost 70 years. It was built during World War II, soon after the Japanese attack on the island in 1942, and it replaced the Aleut village that had long existed there.

Now that GPS has made the LORAN technology obsolete, the Coast Guard this year phased out the syste. It was deemed to be an unnecessary expenditure and the federal government expected to says $35 million per year by cutting it out of the budget. In February, the domestic signal was turned off, and earlier this month, the Russian-American signal went down, too. Alaska's five other LORAN stations have been decommissioned, and Attu is the last one to close up. A Coast Guard crew demolished the tower earlier this month, and they've been making preparations to leave the island since. KUCB's Alexandra Gutierrez has more.

Harry F. Kuhn III on Sunday, May 04 2014:

My father, Technical Sgt. Harry F. Kuhn, Jr., fought in the Battle of Attu. He was stationed at Dutch Harbor for his tour of duty (1942-1945), operating a winch unloading supplies. He was also a military police officer. His closest buddies were Vincent Kraszewski, Robert Staly, and Fr. Claire. He played the accordian and piano for the troops' entertainment, and played the accordian as accompaniment to the only Bob Hope USO show performed in the Aleutians during the war. In memoriam.

willlam t beltran september 27 2013 on Thursday, September 26 2013:

I was there T.D.Y.from the base at Adak,there were three of us.Ssgt maples Pfc.Burns & my self.we were
Air Force.this was June 1948.we were looking for dead
Japanese that were left after the was lonly place that i will never forget.

Chris Nelson on Wednesday, August 14 2013:

Maybe now descendants of the Aleuts can reestablish the village that was replaced by LORAN.

Dan on Tuesday, June 18 2013:

Very Sad.

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