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The new arch, assembled in two sections instead of three, reduced erection time, weighed less, and required fewer fasteners. Exactly when the T-Rib Quonset was phased out, and the Redesign introduced, is not clear. According to the Navy, details for the new design were tested by erecting units near the factory. At some point in the closing months of 1941, the new system must have been accepted and a leap of faith made for full-blown mass production. This version of the Quonset hut cost just more than $1,300 to produce.

The Japanese bombers inflicted only moderate damage, partly because of the weather. S. Army barracks at Ft. Mears, destroying an oil tank farm, damaging the radio station and the hospital, and sinking ships and planes moored at the major dock. Simultaneously, other units of the Japanese force landed 1,200 men on Attu 42 Steven Haycox Island at the far end of the Aleutian chain, capturing the island and its only village. The Americans had known for at least two months that the Japanese were likely to strike the Aleutians.

Tents did not provide sufficient protection in Alaska against wind, snow, ice, and the cold; standard building materials, wood frame structures on cement foundations, was cost prohibitive and difficult to transport. Over 30,000 Quonset huts were sent to and utilized in Alaska because they were an appropriate, applicable solution to a critical need. The millions of dollars expended in materials acquisition, in operations, and in payroll 45 were expended in a context made possible by the ubiquitous presence of Quonset huts.

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AIA - Architectural Photography

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