World War II Filipino Fighter Pilots

n.c.radomesStarred Page By n.c.radomes, 10th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

For the love and defense of the Motherland, many have sacrificed their lives and limbs. Here, we will relive heroic exploits of some intrepid Filipino soldiers during the Second World War.

Tributes

Tribute to Captain Jesus Villamor and Lieutenants Antonio Mondigo, Godofredo Juliano, Geronimo Aclan, Manuel Conde and Cesar Fernando Basa
Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor celebrates the greatness of Filipinos who have accomplished exemplary deeds in honor of the country. It is held on April 9 in the Philippines each year.

Picture: Photo of Filipino Pilots taken in 1945/

Attack at Pearl Harbor

On the morning of December 7, 1941 the Japanese Navy under the command of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto conducted a surprise military strike against the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. History tells that the first wave of air attack directed towards battleships, aircrafts, military personnel and installations was led by Capt. Mitsuo Fuchida. In charge of the American Naval Base at Pearl Harbor that time were Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel and Cmdr. Walter Campbell Short.
The attack started at 7:55 a.m., and ended that same day only a couple hours later at approximately 10:00 a.m.. The battle was short but it resulted in heavy damages to both combatants. On the side of the United States, 19 battleships of different makes were damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed, 159 aircraft damaged, 2,403 military personnel killed and 1,178 wounded. On the side of Japan, 64 were listed killed, 1 captured, 29 aircraft destroyed, 1 midget submarine grounded, and 4 midget submarines sunk. Civilian casualties include 68 killed and 35 wounded.

Picture: Japanese naval aircraft prepare to take off from an aircraft carrier (reportedly Shokaku) to attack Pearl Harbor during the morning of 7 December 1941/

Gallant stand of 6 Pilots on P-26 versus superior enemy

Villamor Air Base was named in honor of legendary Filipino pilot Col Jesus A. Villamor, who fought during World War II.
Historical accounts of the Philippine Air Force details his heroic acts when, 12 hours after Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Japanese Air Force proceeded to bomb Clark Field, Pampanga, obliterating McArthur’s Far East Air Force, the second most powerful retaliatory force to Japanese aggression in Southeast Asia.
All 18 P-40B fighter planes were set on fire and all but three of the parked four-engined Flying Fortresses were destroyed by zero fighters. Overmatched in number, firepower, speed and quality of aircraft, Villamor’s gallant squadron-flying 6 obsolete Boeing P-26 fighters managed to hold at bay the Japanese air offensive in two famous dogfights over Manila and Batangas, shooting down two enemy fighters and one bomber. All but one of the amazing Filipino pilots, 1st Lt. Cesar Basa, survived the epic aerial battle.
Six Filipino fighter pilots on Curtiss P-26A "Peashooter" fighter planes, including and led by Captain Jesús Villamor, engaged the numerically superior enemy in aerial combat at 12,000 ft.
Several dogfights ensued as Villamor and his men fought desperately to prevent the pack of bombers and their fighter escorts from reaching and bombing Batangas Field.
Captain Villamor and his pilots won the battle, with the only casualty being Basa. In recognition of his heroism, Lieutenant Basa was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

Picture: Boeing P-26 in Aerial formation /

Capt. Villamor's wife and children

According to Alejandro R. Roces in his Roces and Thorns, Captain Villamor’s wife Manette Manalang-Villamor died April 2008 in Catonville, Maryland, USA at the age of 85. Survived by her children, Rita, Diana and Antonio, Mrs. Villamor was a contributing columnist to the influential Washington Post in Washington D.C., and a cum laude graduate at the Marquette University’s School of Journalism in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was known for publishing the wartime memoirs of her husband in a book entitled “They Never Surrendered”.

Picture: Manette Villamor (December 01, 1921 - April 14, 2008) is beloved wife of the late Jesus Villamor/

Intelligence Officer

Villamor, went on to do crucial intelligence work in preparation for the return of the Allied forces from Australia, and for this he received the Distinguished Service Cross, his men, the US Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.
General MacArthur’s official communiqué on the action reads: “In Batangas, six Filipino pilots, undaunted by the tremendous odds against them, attacked two enemy formations of 27 planes each, as they roared over the airfields of Batangas. Before the enemy aircraft broke formation and disappeared in the clouds, the Filipino pilots accounted for two planes.
The six Filipino pilots who took part in the operations at Batangas included Captain Jesus Villamor and Lieutenants Antonio Mondigo, Godofredo Juliano, Geronimo Aclan, Manuel Conde and Cesar Basa.”

Picture: Fighting Filipino pilot. Manila. Captain Jesus Villamor, commanding officer of the 6th Pursuit Squadron, Philippine Army Corps, is pictured getting out of plane after returning from a flight to Batangas Field /

Medal of Valor awardee

Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay awarded Lt. Col. Villamor for his services during the war as pilot and intelligence officer, with the Medal of Valor in Malacañang on January 21, 1954. This award is the equivalent of the highest American award, the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Gold Cross Award with the Bronze Anahaw Leaf were also bestowed on the valiant pilots of the 6th Pursuit Squadron.
Born in Abra on Nov. 7, 1914, Col. Villamor died in the United States at age 56 on Oct. 28, 1971 and his remains brought home and buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.
The Philippine Air Force's (PAF) principal facility in Metro Manila has been named Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base.
Justice Igancio Villamor and Mariquita Flores are the parents of Ace Pilot and World War II hero, Jesus Antonio Villamor.
The Nichols Field (named after Captain Taylor Nichols of the Philippine Scouts) was renamed after Colonel Jesus Antonio Villamor.

Picture: MacArthur awards the U.S. Distinguished Service Cross to Villamor for his heroic action in /

Lt. Cesar Basa

César Fernando Basa (1915 – December 12, 1941) was a Filipino pilot and World War II hero. Born in 1915, he was one of the pioneer fighter pilots of the Philippine Air Force and the first Filipino fighter pilot casualty during World War II.
Lieutenant Basa, who was already two hours airborne on an air reconnaissance mission, rushed to the scene and attempted to join the aerial engagement with only 15 minutes worth of fuel left on his P-26. While still half the distance away, he was intercepted by seven Japanese fighters and shot down. Although he was able to bail out, he was strafed and killed by machine-gun fire from the A6M Zero fighters while dangling helplessly from his parachute. This made him the first Filipino fighter pilot casualty of war killed in air combat.
Basa's fight took place at Batangas Field on the morning of December 12, 1941 when 27 Japanese bombers and 17 fighter escorts raided the base.
Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga, Philippines is named in his honor.

Picture: Lt. Cesar Basa — an WWII pilot who was one of the six ace pilots who fought against 54 Japanese planes in December 12, 1941, at the glorious but tragic dogfight in Manila. He was shot down by the Japanese, but not before he took out seven of the A6M zero fighters planes with his P-26 pea shooter.

Sources:

  • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Ref: http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=12837.0

Credit:

  • diana888.hubpages.com/Photo of ...
  • www.earthlyissues.com/Japanese Naval Aircraft prepare ...
  • commons wikimedia/Boeing P-26 in Aerial formation /
  • http://www.slackfuneralhome.com/Manette Villamor ...
  • http://www.istorya.net/Fighting Filipino pilot ...
  • www.positivelyfilipino.com /McArthur awards ...
  • en.wikipedia.org/Lt Cesar Basa

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Comments

author avatar M G Singh
10th Apr 2015 (#)

very interesting and informative

Reply to this comment

author avatar n.c.radomes
11th Apr 2015 (#)

STEVE, for the moderation-star package, thank you.
MADAN, your comment delighted me.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
11th Apr 2015 (#)

Wow.... it must've taken some real guts for them to voluntarily

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author avatar writestuff
12th Apr 2015 (#)

Informative and interesting post. Thanks for sharing this heart-warming long over-due tribute to these gallant heroes.

Reply to this comment

author avatar n.c.radomes
14th Apr 2015 (#)

STEVE, lots of thanks for you.
DAVID, I believe people would not hesitate to share their level best in times of war.
WRITESTUFF, National Heroes Day is an annual event, where deeds of heroes and heroines are replayed for posterity.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Raymond Villamor
13th Oct 2017 (#)

Just saw some of your clips of this over due credit to our service men.
And sould like to say that one day I will make a film about their contribution of their sacrafices for their families.
Call if you want to participate because I will need help to keep its accuracy and authenticity.
310.533.7369

Reply to this comment

author avatar Raymond Villamor
13th Oct 2017 (#)

Just saw some of your clips of this over due credit to our service men.
And sould like to say that one day I will make a film about their contribution of their sacrafices for their families.
Call if you want to participate because I will need help to keep its accuracy and authenticity.
310.533.7369

Reply to this comment

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