Few places on earth need air transportation more than Alaska. Towns and villages are isolated, with few roads and even fewer places to build them. Since 1913, when the first tractor biplane was brought to the Anchorage area, Alaskans have pioneered northern flying and tied together a geographically diverse and difficult territory. World War II
In 1923, Anchorage boasted its first airport - where Delaney Park is today. Merrill Field was built in 1930, and in 1945 recorded more civilian flights then New York's LaGuardia airport did in that year.
Today, Merrill Field remains one of the busiest small-plane airports in the United States. Anchorage's International Airport host 30 air carriers, and the Lake Hood Seaplane Base ranks #1 nationally in float plane takeoffs and landings.
By 1940, it was apparent to the military that Alaska would play a vital role in the defense of the United States. By 1941, two military bases were built on the outskirts of Anchorage - Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base. These bases supported the only WW II campaign fought on North American soil - the Aleutian Campaign. The Aleutian Islands stretch for thousands of miles out into the Pacific Ocean. In June, 1942, the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor and occupied the Western Aleutian Islands. In spite of terrible storms, the two year air war over the isolated islands resulted in American victory over the invading forces.