cold bay was previously occupied by aleut encampments until 1942 wjem general simon bolivar buckner, jr. ordered fort randall to be created on the shores of cold bay. the fort was part of a general expansion in the aleutians and served as a bas for the 11th air force to provide protection to dutch harbor, the only deep water port in the aleutians at the time. in 1945, it served as the site of the training program and transferring station of ships and craft to the soviet union in anticipation of their entering world war ii against the japanese. during the 1980s, ronald reagan deregulated the airline industry and the need for the community evaporated. today it is used for emergency and precautionary landings of commercial flights and a hub for traffic from anchorage and seattle to the small communities around cold bay.