Ladd Air Force Base Cold War Historic District (Cold War, 1947-1961)

The National Register of Historic Places was established under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) and is an official list of significant state, local, and national historic properties managed by the National Park Service. To be eligible for listing on the National Register, properties must meet certain criteria and possess “integrity”—the essential physical features which illustrate the historic significance. National Register properties may be single buildings or sites or may include multiple properties in a district. According to the provisions of the NHPA and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal agencies must take into account the effects of their undertakings on properties which are eligible for listing on the National Register.

In 1947, Ladd Field was renamed Ladd Air Force Base. It played a significant role in Cold War air defense, strategic reconnaissance, and arctic research. The Ladd Air Force Cold War Historic District recognizes the significance of Cold War events at the base from 1947 until 1961, when the installation was turned over to the Army. Although the footprint of this district overlaps the Ladd Field National Historic Landmark, it is a separate entity. Unlike the Wold War II resources, the Cold War district is not a National Historic Landmark. Properties in the Cold War district must be managed as recognized historic properties under NHPA and NEPA, but are not designated with National Historic Landmark status. These facilities are in use serving present-day mission requirements.

72nd Reconnaissance Squadron flying in formation over the Alaska Range.
General Spaatz inspecting the Troops, 1947.
Squadron photo of the 72nd Reconnaissance Squadron in front of headquarters and Hangar 6, 1948.
Fletcher T-3 Ice Island Camp on May 11, 1961.

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