The time & date in Clark, Philippines is

Clark Field (Clark Air Base)

Located to the west of Dau, along Highway No. 3 (MacArthur Highway) and the Manila-San Fernando rail road line. Angeles is to the south-east, and Mabalacat to the north-east.

In 1899, Major General MacArthur (father of Douglas MacArthur) established his headquarters at the Pamintuan residence, near what would become Clark Field. This area became the cradle of pre-war American Army bases and airfields, that were pivotal during the Japanese attacks and invasion of the Philippines in December 1941, and the American liberation in 1945. Site of the first American and Filipino’s first defensive line, after the Japanese attack on Luzon, before falling back to Bataan.

In 1917 outside Fort Stosenberg, construction began on a half-mile long dirt runway, hangars and other support facilities to bring the local army units into the air age.Β  Construction was completed in 1919, improvements continued until 1941.

Clark Field became the Army Air Corps headquarters overseas. The only American air base west of Hawaii, it became the largest American overseas airbase in the world, and largest American base in the Philippines.

Naming of the New Air Base
The new aerodrome was named Clark Field, in honor of Major Harold M. Clark, who was born in Minnesota and reared in Manila. A pioneering Army aviator killed in a seaplane accident in Panama on May 2, 1919 and buried at Arlington Cemetery.

Expansion of the Base
Over the decades until 1941 it was expanded until it composed of 12 airfields: Clark 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Clark North, Clark East. Other runways in the surrounding area including five strips at Angeles also two at Mabalacat and one to the north at Bambam. Clark based based fighter Pursuit Group (PG) and Bombardment Groups (BG) of bombers.

Clark Field (Runway No. 1)
Single runway located within the Clark Field complex, this first runway built at Clark Field, and the main runway until the start of the war. In 1942, this was a sealed all weather runway. Liberated by the 37th Infantry Division, 145 Infantry Regiment that advanced from Bamban to Mabalacat across Runway No. 1 on January 31, 1945.

Tony Feredo adds:
“The [present day] main runways now are approximately close to the original runway in 1941 and the new ones in 1944. In fact you can still make out the emergency runway up to now in the photo and its used as a Tarmac. In the 1930s it was mostly grass and the only asphalt area was the tarmac. So planes took off in the direction of the wind.”

The new runway is still in use by commercial flights and others are operated by private companies or businesses established inside the base. There are hopes to turn the former base into a joint South East Asian multi national military training base.

Clark Field (Runway No. 2)
Single runway located to the south, and parallel to No. 1 runway. Runway No. 4 is located to the south. Liberated by the 37th Infantry Division, 129th Infantry Regiment which advanced along the strip from January 28-31st.

Clark Field (Runway No. 3)
Single runway located to the north-east of Fort Stotsenberg Liberated by the 37th Infantry Division, 129th Infantry Regiment which advanced along the strip from January 28-31st.

Clark Field (Runway No. 4)
Single runway located to the south, and parallel to No. 1 and No. 2 runways.

Clark Field (Runway No. 5)
Smaller single runway, located to the south-east of Runway No. 4.

Clark Field (Runway No. 6, Clark North)
Smaller single runway, located to the west, and parallel to Runway No. 3, to the north of Fort Stotsenberg.

American Units based at Clark Field (Defense of the Philippines)
4th Composite Group
24th PG , 17th PS (P-40B) from Nichols Dec 9, 41 – Jan 1, 42 to Mariveles
24th PG, 20th PS (P-40B) from Nichols Dec 9 , 41 -
19th BG, 28th BS, 435th BS, 93rd BS (B-10, B-17) September 1941 – ?
2nd Observation Squadron (O-19, O-46)
7th BG, 14th BS (B-17s) ? – January 1, 1942 to Bugo, Mindanao

Defense of the Philippines
The war came to Clark Field on December 8, 1941 (the same date over the international dateline as the attack on Pearl Harbor). Japanese fighters and bombers from Taiwan attacked the filed and succeeded in destroying many American aircraft on the ground. The following day B-17s from Clark Field flew to attack Japanese ships landing troops in Lingayen Gulf.Β  Rapidly, Japanese ground forces advanced and occupied the base, as American and Filipino troops pulled back to the Bataan Peninsula.

Japanese Occupation
Japanese occupied the airfield and used it until it was liberated in late January 1945. The first American air raid against Japanese occupied Clark occurred on December 24, 1944. When the liberation began, approximately 30,000 Japanese of the “Kembu Group”. The Army troops were commanded by Lt. General Rikchi Tisukada (sp?) and the Navy by Rear Admiral Ushie Sugemoto (sp?).

Japanese Units at Clark Field
Imperial Navy

201st Kokutai (N1K2 George also at Mabalacat)
761st Kokutai (G4M) 1945
762nd Kokutai (G4Ms, P1Y1, N1K1-J) reinforced in 1945
752nd Kokutai (G4M) reinforced in 1945
901st Kokutai (G3M) 1945
Army Air Force
60th Sentai (Ki-21) from Saigon
208th Sentai (Ki-48) 1945
26th Sentai (Ki-43) 1945
15th Sentai (Ki-46) 1945
No.1 Yasen Hojyu Hikotai (Special Operations / Composite Group)

American Missions Against Clark Field
December 24, 1944 – February 14, 1945

P-38L Lightning Serial Number 44-24846
Pilot Koeck MIA December 25, 1944

Japanese Defense
Japanese forces dug in the Lily Hill area. The 2nd Tank Division’s Iwashita Independent Tank Company (8 x Improved Type 97 ‘Chi-Ha’) commanded by Captain Iwashita and the Sumi Independent SP Gun Company (2 x Type 4 150mm SPH) commanded by Captain Sumi fought together with the main body of the 2nd Mobile Infantry Regiment commanded by Lt. Col Koshin Takayama, dug trenches, caves and interconnecting gun pits. Other forces were commanded by Eguchi. These forces were reinforced by two airfield construction battalions armed as infantry, anti-tank battalion and 75mm gun battery, making a total of 2,800 defenders. Overall command went to General Tsukada (commander 1st AIrborne Raiding Group), who withdrew his troops to the hills around the airfield.

Battle For Clark Field
The battle began on January 24, 1945 with the US Army 40th Division (advancing along the hills to the north of Clark Field area, and 37th Division (advancing from Bamban to Mabalacat, Dau, Angeles and across the Clark Field base). The battle lasted until January 31st, The Japanese lost all their tanks and heavy weapons, the survivors retreated to the Zambales Mountains and continued until February 20th. Afterwards, the 40th Infantry Division was tasked to guard the Clark Field area, while other American units proceeded south towards Manila.

Japanese Aircraft Captured At Clark
Many wrecked airplanes existed at the airfield and were studied by ATIU (Air Technical Intelligence Unit) that based itself at Clark to repair and test them.

Forty five Ki-45 Nicks were captured at Clark, also a Ki-67 Peggy, eight Ki-44 Tojo, Ki-43 Oscar and others. Profiles on select aircraft captured include:

G4M2 Betty Tail Number 763-12
Captured, flight tested by TAIU

G3M2 Nell Tail Number 356
Captured, scrapped or disappeared

D4Y3 Judy Manufacture No 3957 Tail 33
Captured tested by TAIU S16

D4Y1 Judy Manufacture No 1220
Captured, scrapped or disappeared

B6N2 Jill Tail 01-35
Captured, scrapped or disappeared

N1K2 George

N1K2 George 7102
Captured, ATIU and flight tested, tail S9

N1K1-J George Tail 201-53
Captured by ATIU S7 flight tested, scrapped or disappeared

J2M3 Jack Tail 32-1??

J1N1 Irving Tail 53-85

J2M3 Jack Manufacture Number 3008
Captured Dewey Boulevard Strip, taken to Clark for ATIU evaluation S12

Ki-43-II Oscar
Displayed at the base until 1969 then removed

Ki-44 Tojo Manufacture Number 2068 Tail ‘Mo’
Captured at Clark, ATIU tested S11

Ki-44 Tojo Manufacture No ?

Ki-67 Peggy Tail Number 7-77
Captured, scrapped or disappeared

Ki-84 Frank Manufacture Number ?
Captured, ATIU test flown, Tail S10

Ki-84 Frank Manufacture Number 1446
Captured, ATIU test flown, Tail S17, sent to USA, restored, Japan

Tony Feredo adds:
“There were a number of Ki-84s captured at Clark from the 1st, 11th, 72nd Sentais.”

Made In Japan… Tested in America!” by Robert Mikesh Air Power Magazine July 1982, Vol 12 No. 4

American Occupation
The base was quickly repaired for use by the Americans and code-named Borax. Used extensively until the end of the war.

American Units based at Clark Field (Liberation)
February 26, 1945 – September 1945

End of the War Aircraft Dumping
By the end of the war in August 1945, Clark had become a major base. Countless fighter and bomber aircraft, both war wear and brand new were disposed at Clark. Usually, a bulldozer would break the back of the aircraft, then it would be bulldozed into open pits to be buried. Others, were simply taxied to the end of the base and driven or pushed into holes.

Two major dump areas were filled with abandoned aircraft. The first contained many Japanese aircraft wrecks, evaluated by TAIU, then deemed useless at the end of hostiles and American fighters, bombers and transports. The second, much larger was primarily American fighters and medium bombers.
In the 1960s the first of these dump areas was excavated by a Taiwanies contractor, working for the US military, to remove unexploded ordinance and scrap metal as they liked. Reported, they removed many fully intact aircraft wrecks from their excavation area. Witness of this scrapping?

Over the second dump area, a power plant was built. Many wishful salvagers have tried to negotiate with the Filipino Government and Papanga Province to gain permission to excavate this location, after the power plant went offline in the 1990s. To date, no salvager has succeeded in raising the capital required to pay the high land fees demanded, and dismantling the factory required to begin digging.

Post War
Renamed Clark Air Base, it was the headquarters of the 13th Air Force. One of the conditions of Philippine Independence was the retention of US military bases including Fort Stotsenburg and Clark Field. Both were combined under the name “Clark Air Base”. Used by the USAF until 1991.

David Basler adds:
“I was stationed at Clark from 1981 to 1984. I search for and render safe, unexploded ordnance. During my tour at Clark, the 3rd EMS hosted a family, Wing picnic near the horse stables adjacent to the Munitions Storage Area (MSA), headed towards Mabalacat Gate. Where they had the dependants seated, a large concrete pad rested with picnic tables. It was a Saturday, 1982. The day after, for no apparent reason, this little hill exploded. After thorough research was conducted, it was determined that the Armed Forces in WWII, both American and Japanese, had utilized this area as a dumping ground for unexploded and otherwise useless explosives. The Base E.O.D. unit carefully excavated and inserted a camera and determined that it was quite deep, with all types of UXO’s. One could simply pull the sod away on the surface and discover small arms ammunition. During my stay at Clark, we embarked on many excursions. Armed with maps and metal detectors. We discovered wrecked tanks, aircraft, gun emplacements, tunnels, store houses, weapons and even occupation currency. Some friends of mine and myself have been in Lily Hill.”

The Philippine government created the Clark Economic Zone to encourage development of the former base. Today, the base is open to the public, and some businesses occupy the Hanger Row and other buildings.

Clark Cemetery
Located on the main road inside the base complex, this 20 acre cemetery contains 12,000 graves. Established in 1950, buried are non-WWII remains, dependents and relatives who died in the Clark area or from other cemeteries around the Philippines. The graves date back to 1900.Β  It is the last active USAF cemetery outside the United States. Also buried here are Filipino Scouts and Constabulary and citizens of other nations.

Hanger Row
Two rows of eight hangers, original hangers built from 1917 – 1919. The original dirt runway ran behind the hangers, where Palm Street is located today. They were bombed by the Japanese, then used by the Japanese when they occupied the base.Β  Again bomb by American forces prior to liberation, and repaired and again used by Americans until the base was returned to the Philippines. Today three remain.

Memorial Statues & Plaques
A pair of busts and memorial plaques are located outside the hangers.Β  There are two memorials located hear, behind the original hangers. The road to the side of the memorials was the location of Clark’s original runway. The first is a memorial plaque dedicated to Captain Colin P. Kelly (who took off in a B-17C against Japanese forces landing at Vigan. He was KIA on the mission and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross).

The other is dedicated to Col. Boyd “Buzz” D. Wagner (Commander 17th Pursuit Squadron awarded Distinguished Service Cross for shooting down two Zeros over Aparri and strafed five others at Vigan, later became USA’s first WWII ace).

Lily Hill
Located in the center of the Clark Field, this hill offers a commanding view of the airfield complex area. During the Japanese occupation, this hill was excavated to allow for storage tunnels to be built into its sides for the storage of munitions and fuel, making them nearly impervious to any air attack.

During the defense of Clark by the Japanese, they dug in troops on the forward slopes, and positioned guns to deny use of the airstrips. As American liberation forces reached Clark Field area, Lily Hill was the backbone of the Japanese defense in the area. The final battle to liberate Clark was the neutralization of Lily Hill where Army and Navy troops of the ‘Kempu Group’ delayed the American advance for a week in the area, until January 23.

After the American liberation, remaining tunnel entrances were sealed shut by demolishing the entrances to each tunnel. Today, the area is a housing area. At the summit today there is a water tower is located at the top of the hill and the sides are heavily overgrown with vegetation.

Goddess of Peace Shrine
Located along the road up to the summit of Lily Hill. Erected in 1998, this shrine symbolizes peace and goodwill among nations. The shrine includes a large statue and black memorial plaque in Japanese and english.

Clark Museum
Located on the base across from the Parade Ground.Β  This museum houses relics related to the airfield complex and its history, spanning from traditional Filipino culture and pre-contact displays thru the American era of development into an airbase and World War II and post war usage.

Fort Stotsenberg
US Army built base, located on the later Clark Field Complex. This military outpost’s history dates back to 1902 when troops of the US Army 5th Cavalry camp in Central Luzon. The outpost was later named “Camp Stotsenburg”, in honor of Col. John M. Stotsenberg who was killed in action at age 41, leading his regiment near Quinque, Luzon on April 23, 1899, and was buried at Arlington.

Wartime History
Liberated by the 37th Infantry Division, 129th Infantry Regiment which advanced along Clark’s Runway No. 2 to Fort Stotsenberg liberating it on January 31st, the proceeding to ‘Top of the World’ hill directly to the west.

Parade Ground (Stotsenberg Park)
As Clark Field expanded in the decades prior to the war, the area of the Fort was incorporated into the base, the parade ground and buildings are the former Fort Stotsenberg.

These posts stood at the Dau gate entrance to Fort Stotsenburg and Clark Field since the early 1900s until the Japanese occupation in 1942. The Japanese dug them up and used both for landfill. After the war, they were found intact and in 1965 and placed at the American Legion Post, and later moved to the side of the parade ground in 1984. A number of smaller memorials are located near the gateposts, including: 13th AF memorial plaque, Stotsenberg Park Sign, Tagalog Memorial and Cavalry Memorial.

26th Cavalry Memorial
Located at the western edge of the Parade Ground (Stotsenberg Park). The memorial reads: “To the memory of the gallant dead 26th Cavalry Philippine Scouts, United States Army, Commemorating Their Heroic Actions Lingayen, Luzon, Bataan 1941 – 1942.”

Building 2125
Originally built in 1913 as a theater.Β  Post war was home to 6200th Tactical Fighter Training Group. Today, it is an office building. Then & Now Photos

Building 2121
Build as a bowling alley in 1906, it became the post office in 1912, and HQ for the 13th Air Force after liberation.

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Monday, January 11, 2010 Clark Information




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