Original Location: Annette Island, Alaska
Current Location: Sitka, Alaska
Date of Commission: 14 March 1944
Fate: Transferred to Sitka, 1977
1944 – Air Detachment Annette Island Alaska Established:
Annette Island became a transit base for aircraft being relocated throughout Alaska. On June 3, 1942, a huge carrier-based Japanese force attacked Dutch Harbor, and resulted in a huge increase in activity. Air traffic at the Annette base became quite heavy at times, with C-47 transports, Canadian PBY-5 Cansos, Bristol Bolingbroke bombers, Norsemen utility aircraft, and P-40 fighters.
Coast Guard Air Station Annette was located on Annette Island, Alaska. Flight operations began on 14 March 1944 with a local area familiarization flight. The pilot and senior officer was LCDR J. J. McCue, USCG. The personnel compliment consisted of LCDR McCue, Henry "Hank" J. Pfeiffer, an aviation pilot, and five enlisted crewmembers. One aircraft, Grumman JRF No. 228 was assigned. Personnel were housed in the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) quonsets. The CAA provided hangar and office space. On June 26 1946, a second JRF was received along with an additional pilot and a few additional crewmen. A PBY-5AG was added in November 1947 and more personnel were assigned, however the PBY aircraft operations were discontinued in March 1948.
The detachment continued operating JRFs until replaced by UF-1G aircraft in the fall of 1952. At the time, the aircraft and personnel were augmented by the Military Readiness program. On 1 April 1956 the hangar was transferred from the Department of Commerce to the Coast Guard, under the Treasury Department. FAA and Weather Bureau occupied subleased office spaces from the Coast Guard. Housing conditions improved when the combination Bachelor Officer and Bachelor Enlisted Quarters were opened on 6 May 1961 and families began moving into Roland Village in March 1965. In 1964 the aircraft compliment included two HH52A helicopters and three HU16E aircraft. In 1966 one HU-16E was replaced with a third HH-52A. In 1972 a program was begun which, now completed replaced both the HU-16E and HH-52A with the larger and more modern HH-3F helicopter.
The station was relocated to Sitka, Alaska in 1977, which was more centrally located in the Southeastern Alaska operating area.
Unless otherwise indicated all photos are official U.S. Coast Guard photographs. Any original caption information is included in the text beneath each photo, along with a date, if known. Click on the thumbnail to access a 300 dpi image.
Original photo caption: "USCG Air Station Annette Isl., Alaska inspection tour of Commandant -- Admiral Roland speaking on field on his arrival."; photo dated 28 July 1965; Photo No. CPI-072865-10; photo by PH1 Nicols.
Original photo caption: "USCG Air Station Annette Isl., Alaska, Inspection tour Admiral E. J. Roland, USCG, commandant, dedicating new family quarters. Admiral Roland inspecting crew here."; photo dated 28 July 1965; Photo No. CPI-072865-08; photo by PH1 Nicols.
Original photo caption: "USCG Air Station, Annette Isl., Alaska, Inspection -- Admiral E. J. Roland, USCG, Commandant, dedicating new family quarters."; photo dated 28 July 1965; Photo No. CPI-072865-04; photo by PH1 Nicols.
No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown. Aerial view of Air Station Annette.
Air Station Files, U. S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
Arthur Pearcy. A History of U. S. Coast Guard Aviation. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989.