Fort Randall, Cold Bay, Aleutian Islands, AK
Cold Bay, AK
Find maps of Cold Bay, AK
Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS AK-46
Building/structure dates: 1942 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1985 demolished
Significance: Cold Bay is located at Lat.55%10'N., Long. 162%35'W. During World War II sited here was an Army airfield, coastal defenses, and a small naval facility. The naval facilities southeast of the Army airbase were collectively called "NAVY TOWN." This facility included a dispersed hospital complex of Quonset huts connected by wood frame corridors. The hospital site plan was one that would become standard in the Aleutians with modifications made to fit the topography. There was also an airstrip at "NAVY TOWN." As the war in the Aleutians moved west in 1942-1943 installations in the Eastern Aleutians such as Cold Bay and Dutch Harbor declined in strategic value. The facilities at Cold Bay were quickly phased-out and by March 1945 a considerable portion of the facilities at Cold Bay were abandoned and in a state of disrepair. These deteriorated facilities were turned over to the Navy in March 1945 to serve as a base for the Hula-Two project. Hula-Two was the final phase in the transfer of American naval vessels to the Soviet Union. Vessels arriving from West Coast ports were transferred here to Russian crews that had received at Cold Bay their shakedown training in anti-submarine warfare, radio, radar, gunnery, and other shipboard activities. Hula-Two was a project that lasted only a few months from 19 March 1945 to 5 September 1945. During this time 149 vessels were transferred and 2,500 Russian crew members trained. The Navy Town hospital, that had been a station hospital, became an important community service for Hula-Two. During the project 440 patients were hospitalized for 2,725 patient days. Of the 440 patients 102 required surgery with appendicitis the most common surgery. The Russians were four times more likely to require appendicitis surgery than American naval personnel. There were three deaths during Hula-Two, one American and two Russians. The American and one Russian died of coronary thrombosis while the second Russian died of intra-cranial hemorrhage. There were no epidemics at Cold Bay. With the termination of the Hula-Two project Cold Bay was reduced in status and soon after the war turned over to a caretaker force. A small station was maintained at the airfield but the rest of the installations were secured and left to wither in the rain, wind, and adverse weather of this region. Much of Navy Town was collapsed or deteriorated by 1984 and in 1985 Navy Town was razed as part of the Department of Defense Environmental Restoration Program.
Forts & Fortifications
Naval Yards & Naval Stations
U.S. Department Of The Navy
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
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