Kiska belongs to the Rat Islands group, located to the west of the Aleutian Islands. It is home to a cone-shaped active volcano, culminating at over 1,200 metres. Along with Attu Island, some kilometres further west, it makes up the only two American territories to have been occupied by the Japanese during the Second World War. During the summer of 1943, American troops disembarked in order to bring this enemy occupation to an end. They discovered, to their surprise, that the Japanese had already fled the island, under the cover of bad weather.