List of military installations in Michigan

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Naval Air Station Grosse Ile, on an island in the Detroit River, served to train Navy and Marine pilots and included a hangar for dirigibles.

Numerous military installations have been located in Michigan since the earliest French fortified trading posts appeared to modern National Guard bases. The Native Americans of the area established only temporary war camps although some were quite large (Chief Pontiac's 6-month encampment during the siege of Fort Detroit had around 1,000 warriors). The earliest French bases were quite small and short-lived. Later some installations would be in use for over a century (Fort Wayne, Fort Mackinaw) and spread over large areas (Fort Custer - 14,000 acres (57 km2), Camp Grayling - 147,000 acres (590 km²)).

In chronological order:

French colonial forts[edit]

The reconstruction of Fort Michilimackinac is a state park and ongoing archaeological site.

British colonial forts[edit]

Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island

The British assumed control of French forts in Michigan after defeating the French in the French and Indian War.

  • Fort Detroit, in use from 1760 until 1779, when it was replaced by Fort Lernoult
  • Fort de Repentigny, captured by the British in 1760, destroyed by fire in 1762
  • Fort Michilimackinac, in use from 1761 until 1781, replaced by Fort Mackinac
  • Fort St. Joseph, in use from 1763 until 1780, occupied by Spanish militia for one day in 1781
  • Fort Sinclair, St. Clair County, built 1765, abandoned about 1785
  • Fort Lernoult, built in 1779, turned over to the Americans in 1796, in British hands again during part of 1812-1813
  • Fort Mackinac, built in 1781, turned over to the Americans in 1796, captured in the War of 1812, it was again under British control from 1812–1815
  • Fort George, an inland blockhouse on Mackinac Island, during the War of 1812, renamed by Americans, Fort Holmes
  • Fort Drummond, Drummond Island, built 1815, closed 1828

American establishments[edit]

Forts and other Army bases[edit]

Barracks at Fort Wayne, one of the longest-lived bases in Michigan

Although the U.S. nominally controlled Michigan after the 1783 Treaty of Paris, several forts remained in British hands for more than a decade.

  • Fort Lernoult, turned over to the Americans in 1796, renamed Fort Detroit, in British hands again during part of 1812-1813, renamed Fort Shelby, abandoned 1826
  • Fort Mackinac, built in 1781, turned over to the Americans in 1796, captured in the War of 1812, it was again under British control from 1812–1815, closed 1895
  • Fort Gratiot, built in 1814, finally abandoned 1879
  • Fort Holmes, an inland blockhouse and redoubt built by the British as Fort Holmes on Mackinac Island during the War of 1812, renamed by Americans Fort Holmes but soon abandoned by the U.S. Army
  • Grosse Ile Stockade, Grosse Ile, built 1815, closed 1819
  • Fort Brady, Sault Saint Marie, built 1822, closed 1944 (except for an antiaircraft battery in place until 1962)
  • Fort Saginaw, Saginaw, built 1822, abandoned 1824
  • Detroit Arsenal, Dearborn, built 1832, sold off in 1877
  • Fort Wayne, Detroit, built 1843, in use until the 1970s (the Army Corps of Engineers still maintains a boatdock here)
Fort Custer in 1941

Air Force Bases and Naval Air Stations[edit]

Wurtsmith Air Force Base was used to train Free French pilots in WWII and to house nuclear-armed B-52 bombers during the Cold War.

See also Michigan World War II Army Airfields.

Michigan's northern location made it a good site for several Cold War air bases, especially Strategic Air Command B-52 / KC-135 bases. Numerous other sites around the state had antiaircraft gun or missile installations during the Cold War.

Other[edit]

See also[edit]