the westernmost of Near Islands, the farthest W of Aleutian Islands. 37 miles long. 344.7 square miles in size.
Attu, although possibly seen by one or both of the 1741 expedition ships from a great distance, was officially discovered and called "Saint Theodore" by Captain A. I. Chirikov in the spring of 1742 (Bancroft, 1886, p. 93). The first landing on the island appears to have been in 1745 by a party of promyshlenniki led by Mikhail Nevodchikov. The Aleut name of the island was early transcribed by the Russians as "Ostrov Attu"; spelled "Atakou" by Captain Cook (1785, v. 2, p. 502), Royal Navy (RN).