Thursday, January 29, 2009

Castner's Cutthroats

Update: We are no longer able to access the KTUU story online. 8/1/11

Question: Where can I learn more about the WWII Alaska Scouts also known as Castner's Cutthroats?

Answer: Castner's Cutthroats were officially known as the 1st Combat Intelligence Platoon (Provisional). The unit was active at Fort Richardson from 1941 to 1946 and members were recruited from Alaska Natives and sourdough prospectors.

The Alaska State Library has a number of items with information about Castner's Cutthroats, including:

Rearden, Jim. 1990. Castner's Cutthroats: saga of the Alaska Scouts. Prescott, Ariz: Wolfe Pub.
For list of holding libraries see:

Rearden, Jim. 2005. Forgotten warriors of the Aleutian campaign. Missoula, Mont: Pictorial Histories Pub. Co.
For list of holding libraries see:

Reiss, Marguerite. Alaska miners at war -- part 01. Alaska miner 1993, v. 21, no. 12 (Dec. 1993) pp. 7+.

Rearden, Jim. Castner's cutthroats. Alaska magazine 1991, v. 57, no. 12 (Dec. 1991) . p. 34

If these books and articles aren't available in your local library, please ask your library to get them by Interlibrary Loan.

To find websites and other internet based resources, We suggest that you visit SLED at and type Castner's Cutthroats into the search box. That yields a number of results including the KTUU story, "Castner's Cutthroats: defenders of the Last Frontier". There is also a decent looking Wikipedia article at's_Cutthroats.

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