Museum Memories

Honoring the colors of the American flag are the military personnel stationed at the Mile 13 air base. Note in the background the tail end of a Copper River and Northwest passenger car. After the railway closed in 1938, the military operated the system as a transportation mode for locals and servicemen to travel to the Mile 7 Radio Station and eventually the Mile 13 Air Base.

Construction of the Mile 13 runways began as a part of a national program entitled DLAND (Developing of Landing Areas for National Defense) with a loose gravel runway 3,000 feet by 150 feet ready for use by December of 1941. The Army engineers of the 42nd General Services Regiment took over construction on March 16, 1942 and completely paved the strip by late August of 1942. Originally built to house either a bomber or fighter squadron, subsequent events in the Aleutian Islands called for these squadrons to be transferred to King Salmon and Cold Bay Army Air Bases. Cordova’s Army Air base served as an emergency air field and refueling stop for military and commercial aircraft.

This memory is brought to you courtesy of the collection from the Cordova Historical Society held in the Museum.