Territorial Guard honored
On the Y-K Delta
Today is Alaska Territorial Guard Day. The day was set aside in 2005 to commemorate the largely Native militia formed to defend the state from Japanese attack in World War II. The militia formed after Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941 and coastal areas were invaded by Japanese troops. Most of the Alaska-based National Guard troops were stationed overseas. Major Marvin “Muktuk” Marson and Major Carl Scheibner recruited over 6,000 men and women to serve in the guard. The volunteers served without pay or provisions, to guard the state’s coastline and conduct reconnaissance. In July a memorial to the ATG was dedicated in Bethel. The statue stands watch outside the Veterans Memorial Cemetery.