Excerpt from Ghosts in the Fog

MAY 14, 1942. PEARL HARBOR, OAHU, FIVE MONTHS AND ONE WEEK AFTER THE JAPANESE ATTACK.

A soldier stood with a loaded gun in front of a locked steel door. He was guarding the secrets buried below from spies and thieves. No one was allowed to talk about what went on in the “dungeon,” and if anyone did, their life was at stake. The armed guard stopped anyone who tried to enter. If necessary, he would shoot to kill.

A tall, thin man with dark hair and glasses was facing the locked steel door. The armed guard didn’t bother him. That’s because Lieutenant Commander Edwin Layton, known as Eddie to his friends, possessed the security clearance to enter. Plus, he was a regular. The soldier unlocked the door for him and stepped aside.

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Book Talk

This story begins with highly classified cryptographers—code-breakers—deep underground behind a guarded door during World War II. Why were they being watched under such strict security? They were the first to find out classified information about the movements of enemy forces, including one of the most deadly (and secret) attacks on American soil—an attack that many people today still don’t know about.

Did YOU know that just months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese also attacked and occupied the Aleutian Islands in Alaska? American citizens were killed and captured as the islands were assaulted by land and sea. U.S. airplanes bombed their own country to try to drive out the invaders. Americans from the mainland and native Aleuts were taken prisoner, packed together in ships and practically left to die. . . And on May 29, 1943, American and Japanese soldiers clashed in Attu, Alaska, in one of the deadliest battles in the entire war.

Read this story of bravery and perseverance to find out more about the code-breakers, soldiers, pilots, sailors, and ordinary Americans who experienced an invasion in their own town.

Melissa, Scholastic Booktalker

 Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska’s WWII Invasion

Ghosts in the FogFew know the story of the Japanese invasion of Alaska during World War II–until now.

Ghosts in the Fog is a narrative nonfiction book that tells the riveting story of how the Japanese invaded and occupied the Aleutian Islands in Alaska during World War II. This fascinating little-known piece of American history is told from the point of view of the American civilians who were captured and taken prisoner, along with the American and Japanese soldiers who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of hand-to-hand combat during the war. Complete with more than 80 photographs throughout and first person accounts of this extraordinary event, Ghosts in the Fog is for anyone interested in World War II.

A YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Nominee.

A Junior Library Guild Selection.


The Aleutian War

This is the official government documentary about the Aleutian War.

It was not shown to the public until after the Aleutian War was over.