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    Elmendorf Field Elmendorf AFB) Alaska United States
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USAAF August 1941

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John Meltar c1942

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US Army c1942
Location
Lat 61° 15' 4N Long 149° 48' 23W  Elmendorf Field is located at an elevation of 212' above sea level adjacent to Fort Richardson and Anchorage in Alaska in the United States. During World War II, known as "Elmendorf Field" or "Elmendorf Army Air Base".

Construction
Built on the grounds of Fort Richardson. Established on June 27, 1940. Construction began on June 8, 1940. The runway was completed on January 14, 1941. Lengthened August 1945.

Naming Honors
On November 12 1940 the airfield was officially designated "Elmendorf Field" in honor of Captain Hugh M. Elmendorf, killed in a flight testing accident on January 13, 1933.

Wartime History
During February 1941, the 18th Pursuit Squadron flying P-36 Hawks arrived at Elmendorf with the 23rd Air Base Group assigned shortly afterwards to provide support. The Eleventh Air Force was formed at Elmendorf during early 1942.

Wartime History
On January 14, 1942 the Alaska Air Force is activated at Elmendorf Field under Commanding Officer (C. O.) Lieutenant Colonel Everett S. Davis. On January 15, 1942 the 11th Air Force (11th AF) is activated at Elmendorf Field. On March 15, 1942 the XI Interceptor Command is activated under Commanding Officer (C. O.) Colonel Norman D Sillin. On June 21, 1942 the 11th Air Force Service Command is also activated at this location.

During the Pacific War, Elmendorf Field was developed into an important base for the 11th Air Force and as a staging base for aircraft and squadrons flying to bases in the Aleutian Islands. Also, as a staging point for lend-lease aircraft delivered to Russia. Also, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) P-40s were based at Elmendorf.

American units based at Elmendorf
18th PS (P-36 Hawks) February 1941
23rd Air Base Group 1941
42nd BG (B-26 det) December 29, 41 - May 30, 1942 Umnak Oct 3, 1942 Adak
77th BS (B-26 det) USA December 29, 1941–May 30, 1942 Umnak October 3, 1942 Adak
11th PS (P-40) December 30, 1941 -
28th CG HQ ? - March 14, 1943 Adak
11th AF HQ activated March 15, 1942–Aug 10, 1943 Adak
28th CG 73rd BS ? - April 1, 1943 Adak
28th CG 404th BS ? - March 22, 1943 Umnak
28th CG, 36th BS (B-18) ? - February 9, 1942 Kodiak
28th CG, 18th PS (P-40) April 18, 1942 to Kodiak
28th CG, 11th FS (P-40) ? - (det) May 25, 1942 Cold Bay (det) May 26, 1942 Umnak (det) June 1, 42 Umnak
55th FG, 54th FS (P-39, P-38, P-40) May 31, 1942 -
343rd FG HQ (P-40) activated Oct 10 - September 1, 1942 Umnak - Dec 25, 42 Cold Bay - March 7, 43 Adak
343rd FG, 344th (P-40) activated Oct 10 - Set 1, 1942 Umnak - Dec 25, 42 Cold Bay
54th FG, 56th FS (P-39, P-40) det Oct 20, 42 Nome det Nov 12, 42 Cold Bay
54th FG, 57th FS (P-39) Nome Oct 20 - Sept 30, 1942 Kodiak
41th BG, 406th BS (A-29, B-18, B-25) USA June 1942 (det) July 25 Adak - Aug 13, 43 departs Oct 18, 1943 USA

Postwar
On December 18, 1945 the 11th Air Force was redesignated the Alaskan Air Command (AAC). On January 1, 1947 The Alaskan Command was established as a unified command under the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

On March 3, 1951 officially transferred from the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) to the U. S. Air Force (USAF) and became known as Elmendorf Air Force Base (Elmendorf AFB). During the Cold War, Elmendorf assumed an increasing role in the defense of both Alaska and North America. In the spring of 1957, the runways were enlarged with the addition of concrete aprons.

Today
Elmendorf Air Force Base (Elmendorf AFB) remains in use as a military installation with two runways. The first is oriented 24/06 measures 10,000' x 200' surfaced with Porous European Mix (PEM). The second is oriented 34/16 measures 7,500' x 150' surfaced with asphalt. Airport codes: FAA: EDF / ICAO: PAED / IATA: EDF. Elmendorf is the largest USAF installation in Alaska and home of the Headquarters, Alaskan Comm.

McCloud Memorial Park
P-38G Lightning 42-13400 displayed on pedestal

References
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson - Elmendorf Air Force Base History
FindAGrave - CPT Hugh Merle Elmendorf (grave photo)

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Last Updated
April 16, 2021

 

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