In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veteran William Roy Dover, of Haleyville, Ala., speaks at a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
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William Roy Dover's memory of the World War II battle is as sharp as it was 75 years ago, even though it's been long forgotten by most everyone else.Dover and most of the American soldiers rushed to an embankment on what became known as Engineer Hill, the last gasp of the Japanese during the Battle of Attu, fought 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian chain.American forces reclaimed remote Attu Island on May 30, 1943, after a 19-day campaign that is known as World War II's forgotten battle.Nearly all the Japanese forces, estimated at about 2,500 soldiers, died with only 28 survivors.American forces, many poorly outfitted for Alaska weather and trained in California for desert combat, recaptured Attu 11 months after the Japanese took it and a nearby island, Kiska. While Kiska was unpopulated, about 45 Aleuts lived on Attu Island.The battle over Attu proved to be unimportant to the rest of the war, possibly why it's forgotten today.Seventy-five years later, 102-year-old Allan Seroll of Massachusetts, who worked in communications including Morse code for the Army Signal Corps, still carries the burden of the Battle of Attu.
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