Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Digital Display of Alaska Native Veterans’ Photo Album Online

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has just posted scanned images from a historic photograph album of Tlingit veteran Stanley D. Peratrovich (1919-2002) online [click here to access]. Originally born at Klawock, Alaska, the photograph album contains images of Peratrovich’s time as a student at the Wrangell Institute during the late 1930s and then his journeys around Alaska during his service in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. Recently donated to SHI by Peratrovich’s widow, Evelyn M. Peratrovich, the photograph album documents Alaska Native life and military service during an important period in Alaskan history.

Stanley D. Peratrovich was born in Klawock, Alaska, on May 4, 1919 to James and Kathryn Peratrovich. His father was a Croatian immigrant to Alaska and his mother was Tlingit from the Kuiu Island area of Southeast Alaska, of the Raven Moiety and Dog Salmon Clan. Stanley Peratrovich was raised in Klawock but then sent to a boarding school, the Wrangell Institute of Wrangell, Alaska, where he completed his studies around 1938. Thereafter he enrolled in Washington State College (now Washington State University) at Pullman, Washington. While a college student, the Second World War began and Peratrovich enlisted, later serving from 1941 to 1945 in his home state of Alaska in the 297th Infantry Battalion, Company B, Harborcraft Detachment. During his time in Alaska he was based, operated at, or traveled to Haines, Seward, Whittier, Anchorage, Harbor Craft, Attu, and Adak. His two home ports were Seward and Adak.

After the war in 1948, Peratrovich married ex-army nurse Evelyn Taber in Walla Walla, WA. For the next decade or longer Stanley served as a boat captain for Harbor Tug & Barge in San Francisco, CA. After Peratrovich and his wife retired, they moved to Bainbridge, WA. In Peratrovich’s later years he was active in the American Legion and attended veterans’ reunions for the 297th Infantry Battalion. Stanley Peratrovich passed away on June 22, 2002, in Bainbridge, WA.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

Photograph credit: Image of Stanley Peratrovich circa 1941 in his military uniform. 

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