Bassett Army Community Hospital, the only Army hospital in Alaska, is located at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska adjacent to the city of Fairbanks in interior Alaska, 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
The installation originated as Ladd Army Air Base in 1940 and served during WWII as the primary transfer point for aircraft under the land-lease program with the Soviet Union. With the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate service in 1947, the installation became Ladd Air Force Base.
In July 1951, the USAF began construction of the old hospital. The five-story facility had 135,000 square feet and cost $9.5 million. The hospital was dedicated in November 1953 as the 5060th USAF Hospital.
The Air Force transferred Ladd Air Force Base to the Department of the Army in January 1961. At this time, the installation was renamed in honor of General Jonathan M. Wainwright, the “Hero of Bataan”. In July 1962, the transition of Air Force activities led to the change of the hospital to US Army Hospital, Fort Wainwright. The hospital was designated a Class I medical activity under the command jurisdiction of US Army Medical Activity, Alaska.
10 April 1963, the hospital was rededicated as Bassett Army Community Hospital in honor of Captain John Winfield Bassett, Medical Corps (1913-1943).
1 July 1974, Bassett ACH came under the command of the newly formed US Army Health Services Command and on 1 July 1975 became the location of Headquarters, US Army Medical Department Activity – Alaska, directing all Army health services in Alaska.
The original Bassett ACH facility remained the center of military healthcare for interior Alaska for over 44 years until 30 May 2007 when a newly constructed Bassett Army Community Hospital facility was dedicated. At this ceremony, the Army Surgeon General and all 3 of Alaska’s U.S. Congressional Delegation were on hand to celebrate this monumental event.