They took the only inhabitants of the island, a ten man (and six dog) US Navy Weather Detachment by complete surprise and quickly took control of American soil.
Today, the island is one of the USA’s National Historic Landmarks: the aftermath of the Japanese invasion can still be seen on the rolling hillsides of Kiska.
Yet a Japanese military force had stepped foot on American soil – and the 500 had grown to over 5,000 men. Although Kiska and neighboring Attu (which had been overrun two days previously) were part of the distant Aleutian Islands they were, nevertheless, American. Plans were immediately drawn up to retake the island, known as the Aleutian Campaign. The campaign would not succeed for over a year and would claim many American lives.
First Image Credit Flickr User Buzz Hoffman
Image Credit Map of Kiska - Flickr User Travis S