The totem pole
located in front of the main building
on Shemya Island
View of the coastline
northwest side of the island
The only mammal on the island is the Blue Fox, locally called "Scruffies". Russians originally stocked the island with these sweet beasts as a source of fur. Today, the population is closely monitored and managed.
As you can see, they aren’t camera shy!
A blue fox I encountered near my work site
And if you’re looking for the comforts of home on this remote site…you’ll have to travel a bit to get it!
The closest hamburger joint
is 1,500 miles north!
I’ve included a brief history of the air station below…
Military forces first occupied the once uninhabited island on May 23, 1943, during the final days of the battle to retake Attu Island from the Japanese. Shemya was originally intended as a B-29 Base for the bombing of Japan. Air Force activities were reduced after World War II, but its location provided an ideal refueling stop on the Great Circle Route. Following the Korean War, Shemya was declared surplus and the base was deactivated on July 1, 1954.
The facilities were leased to Northwest Orient Airlines who remained on the island until 1961. In 1958, the Air Force resumed operations in support of various Air Force and Army strategic intelligence collection activities. The Cobra Dane AN/FPS-108 Phased Array Radar facility was constructed during the mid-1970s and is used to monitor space and missile activities. In April 1993, Shemya AFB was renamed Eareckson Air Station after the World War II commander of the island.
--- by Elizabeth Komisar