Deadliest Catch’s Johnathan Hillstrand honors heroes with epic 30,000lb fireworks display

Picture of Deadliest Catch's Johnathan Hillstrand speaking and, inset left, his grandfather and the fireworks display
Deadliest Catch’s Johnathan Hillstrand and, left, his grandfather and the fireworks display

Deadliest Catch captain Johnathan Hillstrand has paid tribute to hero veterans with an epic 30,000lb fireworks display — screened tonight as part of a July 4th special episode of the Discovery show.

Hillstrand’s grandfather was a WWII Dutch Harbor war hero, helping defend the USA and repel the Japanese during World War II as part of the Aleutian Islands Campaign.

Johnathan reveals on the show how his grandfather was “instrumental” to the war, and in our exclusive clip below we see how he and other Alaskan Scouts – also known as Castner’s Cutthroats – played a pivotal role in reclaiming the Alaskan islands of Attu and Kiska from the Japanese during the Battle of Attu in May 1943.

In tribute to his grandfather and other veterans Johnathan organizes the largest fireworks display the Aleutian Islands have ever seen.

In the footage below, he reveals to fellow Deadliest Catch captain “Wild Bill” Wichrowski how it will include an incredible 30,000lb of fireworks.

The islands’ Dutch Harbor was one of the only other places aside from Pearl Harbor to be bombed by the Japanese during the Second World War.

The Battle of Dutch Harbor took place from the third to the fourth of June, 1942, when the Japanese Navy launched two aircraft carrier attacks on the Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears, U.S. Army.

The attacks resulted in the loss of 43 American lives.

Deadliest Catch captain Keith Colburn says on tonight’s July 4th special: “Our grandfathers defended this country. These guys have been forgotten, and we need to remember that.”

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Discovery.

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