Kangerlussuaq, originally known as Bluie West Eight was founded on 7 October 1941, at the east end of Kangerlussuaq fjord, under the supervision of Colonel Bernt Balchen of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). While Inuit hunters certainly visited Kangerlussuaq there appears never to have been an Inuit settlement there.
Following the fall of Denmark to Germany in World War II, US forces assumed security for Greenland, building several bases, the largest of which were Bluie West One in Narsarsuaq in southern Greenland and Bluie West Eight, at the Kangerlussuaq fjord.
The base briefly came under Danish control in 1950, but following mounting concerns about the Cold War threat, a new agreement saw the United States reopen Bluie West Eight up under the name of Sondrestrom Air Base on 27 April 1951.
It served as one of the Distant Early Warning Line bases and a supply station for similar early warning facilities. Following the fall of the Soviet Union the usefulness of the base was greatly diminished and the last U.S. Air Force personnel left the base on 30 September 1992. The base subsequently came under Greenlandic Home Rule control and was given its first Greenlandic name, Kangerlussuaq. This site and Bluie West One in Narsarsuaq remain Greenland's best-equipped airports. Almost all of the permanent structures in the town were built during the American occupation of the site. [Wikipedia]