K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base - History - Legacy

Legacy

K.I. Sawyer AFB was a favorite base among the SAC community. Although isolated and definitely northern, it was an attractive base for its pleasing North Woods location and its proximity to outdoor activities off the base, including hunting, fishing, boating, and winter sports including skiing at Marquette Mountain recreational area, as well as the venues on site (base lake, ski hill, and others).

While the base was sometimes referred to as "K.I. Siberia" and there was an abundance of lake effect snow, it was not the bitter sub-zero temperatures and wind chills and hot summers of the tree-sparse North Dakota bases, or the confinement of the bases in the more established communities of the northeastern states. Locals maintained that the K.I. Sawyer runway was built over some of the best blueberry fields in the state. Berry patches remained on many other parts of the base, and families of aircrew members often picked them near the alert barracks and the family center.

A portion of the operational section of K.I. Sawyer AFB has been converted into Sawyer International Airport, which opened its passenger terminal for service in September 1999. It replaced the smaller Marquette County Airport, just southwest of Marquette, as the region's primary civilian airport.

In recent years, a group of local citizens interested in preserving the historical significance of the base have collected six aircraft of the types used actively at various times through the base's history to be displayed near the airport. The program is known as the "Sawyer 6" project.

Read more about this topic:  K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, History

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