Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese POW by Mary Breu

Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese POW

byMary BreuAfterword byRay Hudson

Paperback | November 5, 2009

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Etta Jones was not a World War II soldier or a war time spy. She was an American school teacher who in 1941 who along with her husband, Foster agreed to teach the Natives on the remote Aleutian island of Attu. They were both sixty-two years old when they left Alaska's mainland for Attu against the advice of friends and family. Etta, and her sister moved to the Territory of Alaska in 1922. She planned to stay only one year as a vacation, but this 40 something year old nurse from back east met Foster Jones and fell in love. She married and for nearly twenty years they taught in remote Alaskan villages including their last posting on Attu Island at the far end of the Aleutian island chain. Etta's life changed forever on that Sunday morning in June 1942 when almost 2,000 Japanese military men invaded Attu Island and Etta became a prisoner of war. She was taken from American soil to Japan and given up for dead. This is the story of a brave American, a woman of courage and resolve with inextinguishable spirit.

About The Author

A Michigan native, with a B.A. and M.A., Mary Breu taught elementary school for 34 years. She and her husband live in South Carolina with their two children. Etta Jones is Breu's great aunt.

Details & Specs

Title:Last Letters from Attu: The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese POWFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.4 × 5.54 × 0.63 inPublished:November 5, 2009Publisher:Graphic Arts BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0882408100

ISBN - 13:9780882408101

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"No military decisions had been made when Etta and Foster announced to their friends they were going to Attu. The reaction was still one of alarm. 'Don't go to Attu! Why, that is practically in Japan's back yard!' The Joneses disagreed. Etta said, 'We laughed at them. What would Japan want with Attu?' Both Etta and Foster were sixty-two years old. They had enthusiastically accepted the position and planned to stay there until they retired."     Attu 1941-1942, page 149

Table of Contents

Preface 9

To Alaska 13

Tanana: 1922-1923 27

Tanana: 1923-1930 37

Tanana, Tatitlek, and Old Harbor: 1928-1932 53

Prom Kodiak to Kipnuk: 1932 70

Kipnuk Culture: 1932 79

Letters from Kipnuk: 1932-1933 91

Kipnuk School: 1932-1934 112

Letters from Kipnuk: 1934-1937 119

Old Harbor: 1937-1941 135

Attu: 1941-1942 148

Invasion: 1942 167

The Australians: January-July 1942 181

Bund Hotel, Yokohama: July 1942 193

Yokohama Yacht Club: 1942-1943 203

Yokohama Yacht Club: 1943-1944 213

Totsuka: 1944-1945 227

Rescue: August 31, 1945 245

Return to the United States: September 1945 255

Home: 1945-1965 266

Afterword by Ray Hudson 279

Acknowledgements 281

Notes 283

Bibliography 305

Index 307

About the author 317

About the Afterword writer 319

Editorial Reviews

Etta Jones was a nurse and teacher in the Alaska Bush. She was living on Attu when Japanese took the island in World War II and, with the rest of the civilian population, incarcerated in Japan for the rest of the war. Her letters and photographs have been used by her grand-niece, Mary Breu for this book.

                                                         ---Mike Dunham, Anchorage Daily News