KEY TO THE CITY - USA City Directory Top USA City Resource Guide
By 1949-'50, the Air Force presence on Amchitka had been reduced from about 500 (with a captain in charge of the island), to a mere 40 men, with a staff sergeant in charge! At that time, everything had been relocated to the Birchwood hangar. This included the limited communications-crypto center, the kitchen and mess hall, a small PX and post office, offices, and sleeping quarters. Only a handful of civilians remained to run the water, electrical, and sewage plants. Amchitka was very different from Adak in that the latter was very mountainous while all but the far northwestern tip of Amchitka was quite flat.
Submitted by Jerry
Another diversion for some (during the '47-'48 period) was making "moonshine" from the hundreds of 55 gallon drums of antifreeze. As a matter of fact, the islands head cook had to be flown to Anchorage because of his advancing state of blindness due to his high intake of the "wrong" kind of alcohol. It was not uncommon to be in the Birch- wood hangar watching a movie when all of a sudden a loud "boom" would be heard, coming from somewhere out in the "boonies." We knew that someone's still had just exploded.
Amchitka was maintained as a military outpost during the postwar period for two purposes: to provide a radio range station and an alternate landing site for aircraft flying the "Chain," and as a weather monitoring site for Russian weather reports. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, a team of six radio operators sat at their consoles, listening to and recording the five number groups of Russian weather broadcasts. These were then forwarded somewhere for analysis, probably to Washington, eventually.
Submitted by Jerry
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Amchitka and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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