Alaska Air Depot, Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
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Significance: Built during World War II to support the Alaska Theater in the Aleutian Campaign, the Alaska Air Depot was the result of the rapid and intense efforts of the U.S. Army Air Corps to plan and construct a central maintenance and repair hub for all aircraft operated in Alaska by the 11 AF. Designated the "most important unit located at Elmendorf Field" during WWII, the depot was a concentration of buildings, taxiways, revetments, and a runway that served both maintenance and storage functions, greatly improving the efficiency of plane maintenance for the Alaskan Theater. The depot was also used during the Cold War to support and maintain intercept aircraft.
The depot played a key role in national defense as a regional hub for aircraft maintenance, supply distribution to other Alaskan bases, and equipment testing and modification for cold weather operations. The depot was the only base in Alaska where high-level aircraft maintenance of any type could be performed. The depot also made use of several Butler Buildings (temporary steel structures designed by Butler Manufacturing Company and adapted for military use) during WWII, reflecting the need for easily and quickly constructed structures. Many of the WWII Alaska Air Depot buildings continued to serve the Alaska Air Command's interceptor capabilities during the Cold War. Alaska's close proximity to the Soviet Union made it the perfect location from which to mount early warning –- and interception if necessary of a Soviet air attack.
Survey number: HALS AK-10
Building/structure dates: 1943-1945 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1945-1991 Subsequent Work