Villagers Go To War

As told by Barbara Norman and Ralph Ukatish to Dale Malchoff and Greg McMullen  

Ralph Ukatish



       Representing Alaska in defense of our country during the second World War were several men from Port Graham. Among the villagers answering the draft notices or volunteering for duty were Ralph Ukatish, Murphy Meganack, Paul Moonin, Abraham (Sonny) Fomin, Marvin Norman and Herman Moonin Sr.


     “The men weren’t too happy about leaving the village, but we reported for basic training at Elmendorf base in Anchorage, “explained Ralph Ukatish when he was interviewed by Dale Malchoff.


     “Paul and I were sent out to the Aleutian Islands, but Marvin stayed at Elmendorf for parachute training and became the number one jumper, “he continued.


     Ralph spent a year in the Pribilof Islands. He kept in touch with his family by writing letters because that was the only way of communicating at that time.


     He remembers that he had a lot of friends, most of them from New York.


     All the men felt good when they returned home from the war.




Barbara Norman



     Back in Port Graham during the war years, Barbara and Harry Norman were running the post office. They had orders to burn everything of the enemy came to the village.


     Harry also worked fish traps near passage Island and Flat Island during that time. One day he was ordered to come back into the bay. These orders came from a United States Navy ship that was patrolling the area.


     Local fishermen also found bottles with notes in them written in Japanese which showed them how close the war really was to Port Graham.








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