Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service. Other articles where Adak is discussed: Aleutian Islands: History: Adak (formerly Adak Station) was the site of a naval station (1942–97), its military installations used as a base for mounting the Attu campaign in May 1943. The runway remained open to transient aircraft, but on 30 June 1950 the base was officially closed by the Air Force. Assignments to the Aleutians, however, were looked on with dread. Air support for the Battle of Attu, which took place from 11–30 May 1943 was carried out primarily from Amchitka. Jun 23, 2017 - Explore Doug Holm's board "Adak, Alaska" on Pinterest. I live in Anchorage and have visited Adak three times, including twice this year. It would be a month before the Japanese could send out a reconnaissance aircraft from Kiska to fly over Adak. Adak was a staging point for the American military’s Aleutian campaign. On May 11th, 1943, American soldiers landed on Attu Island and successfully defeated the Japanese Army garrison. The first inhabitants of Adak were the Aleuts as early as 9,000 years ago. Adak, also known as Adak Station, is also the southernmost city in Alaska. That location provided the information leading to Project Azorian and the attempt to raise the lost submarine. The 250-mile distance from Adak allowed multiple combat sorties each day to be carried out, weather permitting. By the 1980s there were over 6,000 Navy personnel on the islands. Several cargo ships and minesweepers were hit with the harbor facilities and float planes taking a considerable beating. Most of the base infrastructure and housing has been left in disrepair as the population has dwindled from about 6,000 (at the height of base operations) to the current levels (which range from 100-300 depending on the season). All of Adak Island is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Adak Island sits midway between the United States and Russia, where the Bering Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. At the height of the War more than 100,000 American and Canadian soldiers were stationed in Alaska. Understand []. 18th Fighter Squadron P-40 Warhawks began to arrive from Adak and surprised the Japanese by launching counterattacks to their raids. The American reaction was to construct a new military base on Adak island – a Naval and air facility that could take full control of all the Aleutian Islands and oust the invaders. 1920–1983, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company. The southern half of Adak Island is also a federal wilderness area. The Native regional Aleut Corporation owns much of the land on Adak Island and is promoting a military return to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska Public Media reported Thursday. In a short period of time after the construction of … Our prime location and strategic assets, transferred as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process, make Adak a strong area for future growth and economic activity in relation to the Arctic. Davis Army Airfield was transferred to Alaskan Air Command on 18 December 1945 when Eleventh Air Force was inactivated. [3], With the second combat airfield becoming operational and within striking range of the Japanese garrison on Attu, the Japanese forces on Kiska were put into an untenable situation. The former Naval Air Facility (NAF) Adak is located approximately 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. His C-53 had crashed into a mountainside near Naknek on 28 November 1942. The closure of the base brought the population of the island down to 326 residents from a high of 6,000. [3], Attacks continued against Kiska with high intensity through the fall and end of 1942. It housed around 6,000 military personnel and dependents. It wasn’t easy for civilians to visit, and other facilities such as Shemya Air Force Base, west … Other than the B-24 operations against Japan, the remainder of Eleventh Air Force personnel simply counted the days until their reassignment elsewhere.[3]. Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek Virginia Beach VA. The Japanese also attacked the American base at Dutch Harborby air. Base Realignment and Closure Naval Air Facility Adak Selected for Closure. The military mission at Adak ended on March 31, 1997. Adak Army Airfield was renamed "Davis Army Airfield" in honor of Colonel Davis. Get a detailed view of each base by clicking their name. As the most westerly American base Adak allowed for intensified bombing (with fighter plane protection) of the Japanese garrisons. Join me as I explore the creepy homes and abandoned neighborhoods of Adak Island. Now, the base and housing facilities are largely abandoned. With the long-range Radar-Equipped Twin Mustangs operating from Davis, AAC moved the 625th AC&W Squadron to Elmendorf AFB on 1 July 1948 where it was attached to the 57th Fighter Wing. Adak Station was built during the Aleutian Island Campaign where the United States and Japan fought to control key islands that would allow either side a massive advantage when launching a coastal or airborne attack during World War II. On May 11th, 1943, American soldiers landed on Attu Island and successfully defeated the Japanese Army garrison. With the movement of combat operations to Adak, Fort Glenn and also Fort Randall AAF at Cold Bay became support and staging airfields supporting the front line. I live in Anchorage and have visited Adak three times, including twice this year. Channel 2's Nikki Carvajal and photojournalist Albert Lutan traveled to Adak, a remote island on the Aleutian chain, to see what's left of a once heavily populated navy base. Additional airfields were established at Alexai Point on Attu and on Shemya with a mission to carry out very long range B-24 Liberator strikes on the Kurile Islands, but otherwise, the Aleutians became the forgotten front. Once hosting a U.S. military base supporting a population of thousands, Adak’s current population is fewer than 400 hardy inhabitants, many of whom work in the commercial fish processing industry. The former Adak Naval Air Facility occupies approximately 76,800 acres on Adak Island and is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Located at the westernmost end in the Aleutian chain, Adak is wilderness with the exception of a now-abandoned naval base that once housed more than 6,000 people. Adak Army Base and Adak Naval Operating Base were the westernmost bases in the nation for a short while. With passage of Public Laws 100-256 and 101-510 in 1988 and 1990, the Secretary of Defense created the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) to provide a fair process that would result in timely closure and realignment of military installations. [1] After its closure in 1997, it was reopened as Adak Airport. At one time Adak was the 6th largest city in Alaska. British Prime Minister Churchill stated that sending forces to attack the Japanese presence there was a diversion from the North African Campaign and Admiral Chester Nimitz saw it as a diversion from his operations in the Central Pacific. [3], Headquarters, Eleventh Air Force was moved to Adak in August 1943 to provide operational control of the raids against the Kurile Islands. Photos from our trip to Adak, Alaska in January, 2012. The lowering of the flag for the last time ended an era that began of 31 August 1942, when U.S. forces landed on the Aleutian Island and established an advance base there for operations against the Japanese on Kiska and Attu Islands. At the height of the war, 50,000 troops. [12][13], The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) directed closure of the Naval Air Facility and dictate that no military facilities could remain on the island forced the closing of NAVFAC Adak; the only SOSUS facility closed directly as a result of BRAC. The need for an Aleutian advance base further west became urgent. Construction and operations began in September 1942. [2], On June 6/7, 1942, the Japanese Navy and Army participated in the only invasion of the United States during World War II through the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu as part of the Aleutian Islands Campaign. The City of Adak, Alaska, the westernmost city in the United States is a community centered among the most productive fisheries in the West. Adak used to house the Adak Army Base and Adak Naval Operating Base from 1942 to 1997. Although the town of Adak was incorporated with the former base, many structures were left abandoned. It divides the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean. By the end of October, the Japanese had decided to pull out most of its garrison to Attu, which they believed was worth retaining, and began transporting additional units from Hokkaido to Attu and began upgrading their defenses. [3], The first major combat mission of the Aleutian Campaign from Adak occurred on 14 September 1942 when thirteen B-24 Liberators and one B-17 Flying Fortress; supported by fourteen P-38 Lightnings, fourteen P-40 Warhawks and seven P-39 Airacobras attacked Kiska harbor. Alameda Naval Air Station Alameda CA. Although bombers could reach Kiska, they could not be escorted by shorter-range fighters. Adak Naval Station first appeared on the 1970 U.S. Census as an unincorporated military installation. The landing was made in a storm and within a week additional forces, including the 807th Engineer Aviation Battalion were landed on the island at Kuhluk Bay. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in World War II, although most of its elements from that period have been demolished or lie in ruins. Adak, Amchatka, Attu, Shemya and the other airfields were cold, damp, and had very few recreational diversions; or things to do. Being so remote, it proved to be a prime location to build a military base and was key to successful missions in both World War II and the Cold War. Your photos are marvelous. I have a strong interest in the island's WWII history (I have written a play, currently in revision, which takes place on Adak Army Air Base in March 1944---you can learn more at www.windblownanddripping.com, a site in need of an update). Remote by any definition, Adak is the southernmost community in Alaska, 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage. The U.S. established a military base on Adak in 1942 in response to the Japanese invasion of Attu and Kiska. This is not a place for the fainthearted. Adak is an island, the largest town on the island goes by the same name though it was formerly Adak Station, and is the southernmost city in Alaska. the Air Force in Alaska. Adak Island has been the home to Aleut peoples since ancient times. In 1962 NAVFAC Adak contact reports went to Commander, Alaskan Sea Frontier an that command published a secret report containing the Petropavlovsk contacts presuming they were Soviet. It is the westernmost municipality in the United States and the southernmost city in Alaska. C $28.15. [3], On 12 January 1943, American forces made an unopposed landing on Amchitka Island, 50 miles from Kiska and 260 miles from Attu. At the time of deactivation approximately 500 military and 50 civilian personnel were on the island. This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. In 1950, Adak was commissioned as a naval station. The array at Adak twice caused significant awareness SOSUS could. Remote by any definition, Adak is the southernmost community in Alaska, 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage. Officially, the military mission ended on March 31, 1997, and the station closed.… The garrison dug in and began to practice anti-aircraft drills. And its rugged tundra-covered terrain and fierce weather provided ideal conditions for training the Allied invasion force in amphibious warfare in the Aleutians. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Superfund Site: In 1994, the Adak base was placed on the National Priorities (Superfund) List. [3], Tents were erected, a rudimentary electrical system, radios and some rough streets were laid down and by the end of September Adak Army Airfield was home to several 36th Bomb Squadron B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers; 54th Fighter Squadron P-38 Lightnings, and five B-24 Liberators of the 21st and 404th Bombardment Squadrons. Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island (Seaplane Base) Whidbey Island WA. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1913. Since the early 1940s, the northern half of Adak Island has been used for military operations. Jun 23, 2017 - Explore Doug Holm's board "Adak, Alaska" on Pinterest. Housekeeping by the 5020th ABS took place and remaining personnel coordinated the transfer of the facility to the Navy. In 1973 such contacts were again almost published and stopped only when contact information was matched, on advice by a visiting civilian expert who recognized the signatures, by NAVFAC people to one of the submarine's logs when that submarine put into Adak for a medical emergency. Due to the heavy casualties suffered at Attu Island, planners were expecting another costly operation. Situated in the western Aleutians, Adak Island is currently the western-most location in Alaska readily accessible to birders. Most of the base infrastructure and housing has been left in disrepair as the population has dwindled from about 6,000 (at the height of base operations) to the current levels … Top Rated Seller Top Rated Seller. [9][10], Of some note was the detection of highly classified U.S. submarine operations off the Soviet submarine base at Petropavlovsk despite a belief among some submariners the system could not pick up U.S. submarines. 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