Kinkaid had the difficult assignment of recapturing the Aleutian Islands from Japanese occupation during WWII. Conditions were brutal as the Alaskan terrain and weather prevented troops from progressing. The Battle of Attu was part of the campaign Kinkaid was leading. After a few weeks of nearly standstill combat, Japanese troops led a banzai charge. The sudden attack created enough momentum to break through American front lines and troops were soon in hand-to-hand combat. Fighting continued until almost all Japanese troops were killed. American troops were able to recapture the islands.