Construction of the Mile 13 runway began as part of a national program entitled DLAND (Developing of Landing Areas for National Defense). A loose gravel runway, 3000 feet by 150 feet, was ready for use by December 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 photo came from the archives and collections of the Cordova Historical Society housed within the museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from Noon until 5 p.m. On exhibit in the Copper River Gallery “David Rosenthal – Art and Science on the Katmai Coast.”