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"I was there a year and a half, and in the course of that time, I think I saw the sun once." (Video interview, 5:24)

   Henry A. Lesa
Collection image
Henry Lesa [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: 23rd Naval Construction Battalion (NCB Seabees)
Service Location: Kodiak (Alaska); Adak Island (Aleutian Islands); Attu Island (Aleutian Islands); Hawaiian Islands; Guam (Mariana Islands)
Rank: Seaman First Class
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Enlisting in the Naval Reserves in 1942, Henry Lesa was called to active duty in August, and in November, arrived in Kodiak, Alaska, where he became expert in building stairs connected to troop barracks. After an abrupt transfer to Attu, his unit constructed a mess hall during the invasion; despite working only five hundred yards away from combat, they finished the mess hall within a week. After 18 months spent in the Aleutians, he returned stateside, and then shipped out to the Pacific theater; with his unit, he took part in the invasion of Guam and helped to build all the docks on the island.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (57 min.)
More like this
»Aleutian Islands: WWII’s Unknown Campaign
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
Construction work on Kodiak; transferred to Attu; building a mess hall during the Battle of Attu. (02:24) Description of weather on Attu. (01:14) Going back to the States before transfer to the Pacific Theater; invasion of Guam. (02:42)

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  October 26, 2011
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