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Cold Bay

Cold Bay (162.7W 55.205N) is an anchorage at the southwest end of the Alaska Peninsula. Though some work on a naval station was begun as early as 1929, the facilities at Fort Randall were still pitifully inadequate in late 1941. The commander of Alaska Defense Command, Simon Buckner, ordered construction of an airfield here just before war broke out. Construction took place in great secrecy to avoid the notice both of the Japanese and of Buckner's own superiors: Buckner all but embezzled the funds for construction from other projects. The work began in August 1941 and the incomplete field was ready to base 16 fighters by the time the Japanese attacked Dutch Harbor on 2 June 1942.

Fort Randall eventually had facilities for 298 officers and 4648 men. When fully completed, the airfield was able to base bombers for the Kiska campaign. The invasion force for Attu assembled in the anchorage. However, the construction of an airfield on Adak reduced Cold Bay to secondary importance.

References

Bureau of Yards and Docks (1947; accessed 2011-10-7)

Garfield (1965)
Huie (1944)

Rottman (2002)



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