Defense Force in a Fishing Station

In WW2 a new chapter began in the history of Suðurnes which made a deep impact in the region. Soldiers arrived with big machines and equipment building military airfields and temporary barracks next to the fishing towns. The War had arrived to the ancient fishing stations of Suðunes without the inhabitants being asked.

 Unlike what happened in other places in Iceland, where military stations were set up in WW2, the story did not end when the war ended. Only a few years after peace was established a new war began; The Cold War. In 1951 United States military forces came back to Suðurnes, the so called Iceland Defense Force, watching the North Seas until 2006.

The story of the Defense Force in Iceland and its interactions with the local inhabitants is both interesting and unique in Icelandic history. A foreign military station placed beside old fishing stations changed many things for decades concerning employment, daily lives and culture. And this story has still not come to an end. The influence of Keflavik Airport, which has its roots in the military airfields of WW2, is enormous in this region.

 History vanishes easily. Stories are forgotten, photos and artifacts are lost and before anyone realizes, Time has laid a misty vale over this remarkable story. The Local History Museum of Reykjanesbær has therefore began an organized gathering of photos, documents, stories and artifacts concerning the story of the Defense Force in Iceland. This exhibition is set up to raise attention to this tasks of collection, and everyone are encouraged to help the Museum to collect all kinds of things from the history concerning the history of the Defense Force.

 The Agenda is to open within a few years a permanent exhibition within a few years on this unique chapter in Icelandic history.