Fort Raymond (Alaska)

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Fort Raymond was a U.S. Army Post established in Seward, Alaska in 1942. The fort was named for Charles W. Raymond, who had served as a captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At one point the garrison included more than 3,000 officers and men. The post was established to protect the dock and railroad facilities in Seward and included a garrison and coastal and anti aircraft artillery. These transportation facilities were critical to the buildup of military facilities throughout Alaska. Supplies and materials arriving by ship to Seward were transported to Anchorage and Interior Alaska via the Alaska Railroad.[1]

The defense of Seward became less important after 1943 when the Japanese forces in the Aleutians were defeated and the threat of attack or invasion was greatly reduced. The construction of the deep water port in Whittier, Alaska, much closer to Anchorage, also reduced Seward's importance.

The Army troops stationed at Fort Raymond were used as stevedores when needed.[2]

Fort Raymond was closed in 1945. The fort's hospital was quickly transferred to the Territory of Alaska by the War Assets Administration, and it was operated as a tuberculosis sanitorium until 1957.[3][4] The airfield associated with the fort remained and became Walseth Air Force Base after the U.S. Air Force was established as an independent branch of the U.S. armed forces in 1947. Walseth AFB was closed in 1948.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fort Raymond on Fortwiki.com
  2. ^ "Veteran recalls WWII duty in remote Alaska outpost". www.adn.com. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  3. ^ War Assets Administration (May 10, 1946). "ADVANCE RELEASE: WAA-173" (Press release). p. 577. A modern, 150-bed hospital, together with all auxiliary installations, declared surplus by the Army at Ford Raymond near Seward, Alaska, is being transferred by the Territorial Government of Alaska, it was announced today by the War Assets Administration.... The hospital, which originally cost the Government $570,000, will be operated by the Territory of Alaska as the first exclusive tuberculosis sanitarium in Alaska, in its fight against a steadily increasing spread of this disease, especially among the wards of the government, throughout the territory.
  4. ^ Cagle, Jennifer Laurie. "Harbor Defenses of World War II". Seward Resort. Retrieved 10 February 2020. After the war, Fort Raymond was deactivated, and the Women's Society of Christian Service took over, operating the facility as a tuberculosis sanitarium. The reduction of tuberculosis cases gradually diminished until there was no longer a need for the sanitarium, which closed in 1957.
  5. ^ "Joe McCusker's list of Air Force Bases".