Clark Air Base
Overview
 
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 base on Luzon Island in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, located 3 miles west of Angeles City
Angeles City
The City of Angeles , located within the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, is locally classified as a first-class, highly-urbanized city. Its name is derived from El Pueblo de los Ángeles in honor of its patron saints, Los Santos Ángeles de los Custodios , and the name of its founder, Don...

, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991. The base covered 14.3 square miles (37 km²) with a military reservation extending north that covered another 230 square miles (596 km²).

The base was a stronghold of the combined Filipino and American forces during the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and until 1975, it was a backbone of logistical support during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.
Encyclopedia
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 base on Luzon Island in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, located 3 miles west of Angeles City
Angeles City
The City of Angeles , located within the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, is locally classified as a first-class, highly-urbanized city. Its name is derived from El Pueblo de los Ángeles in honor of its patron saints, Los Santos Ángeles de los Custodios , and the name of its founder, Don...

, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991. The base covered 14.3 square miles (37 km²) with a military reservation extending north that covered another 230 square miles (596 km²).

The base was a stronghold of the combined Filipino and American forces during the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and until 1975, it was a backbone of logistical support during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Following the departure of American forces in 1991, the base eventually became the site of Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport , also called Clark International Airport , is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Freeport Zone and the general area of Angeles City in the Philippines...

 and the Clark Freeport Zone
Clark Freeport Zone
Clark Freeport Zone is a redevelopment of the former Clark Air Base, a former United States Air Force base in the Philippines. It is located on the northwest side of Angeles City and borders the municipality of Mabalacat in the province of Pampanga. It is located about 40 miles northwest of...

.

History

For full details, see History of Clark Air Base
History of Clark Air Base
The history of Clark Air Base, Philippines dates back to the late 19th century when it was settled by Filipino military forces. The United States established a presence at the turn of the century.- The Americans first come to Angeles :...

.
For information on Clark after its closure, see Clark Freeport Zone
Clark Freeport Zone
Clark Freeport Zone is a redevelopment of the former Clark Air Base, a former United States Air Force base in the Philippines. It is located on the northwest side of Angeles City and borders the municipality of Mabalacat in the province of Pampanga. It is located about 40 miles northwest of...

 and Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport , also called Clark International Airport , is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Freeport Zone and the general area of Angeles City in the Philippines...

.


Clark Air Base was originally established as Fort Stotsenburg
Fort Stotsenburg
Fort Stotsenburg, during the World War II era, was the location of the Philippine Department's 26th Cavalry Regiment, 86th Field Artillery Regiment, and 88th Field Artillery Regiment; along with the Philippine Division's 23rd and 24th Field Artillery Regiments...

 in Sapang Bato
Barangay Sapangbato, Angeles City
Sapangbato is the largest barangay in Angeles City in Pampanga province, Philippines, with a total land area of 187,694 sq. meters and a population of 9,920. Located northwest of Angeles near Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and the Clark Freeport Zone Sapangbato is the largest barangay...

, Angeles City
Angeles City
The City of Angeles , located within the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, is locally classified as a first-class, highly-urbanized city. Its name is derived from El Pueblo de los Ángeles in honor of its patron saints, Los Santos Ángeles de los Custodios , and the name of its founder, Don...

 in 1903 under control of the U.S. Army. A portion of Fort Stotsenburg was officially set aside for the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps and named Clark Field in September of 1919. Clark served as a landing field for medium bombers and accommodated half of the heavy bombers stationed in the Philippines during the 1930s. It was very large for a landing field of the day. In the late summer and fall of 1941, many aircraft were sent to Clark in anticipation of war with Imperial Japan.

The base was overrun by Japanese
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 forces in early January 1942. The base then became a major center for staging Japanese air operations. Japanese aircraft flying out of Clark participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf
Battle of Leyte Gulf
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history.It was fought in waters...

, considered to be the largest naval battle of the Second World War.
During the war, the Allied prisoners of the Bataan Death March
Bataan Death March
The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of prisoners.The march was characterized by...

 passed by the main gate of Clark Air Base, as the soldiers followed the direction of the railway tracks north, towards Camp O'Donnell
Camp O'Donnell
Camp O'Donnell was a facility of the United States Air Force in Capas, Tarlac, The Philippines. Before the facility was transferred to the Air Force, it was first a Philippine Constabulary post then a United States Army facility....

. Clark Air Base was recaptured by Americans in January 1945, after three months of fierce fighting in the Philippines.

Clark grew into a major American air base during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, serving as an important logistics hub during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. The base was later closed due to the refusal by the Philippine Government to renew the lease on the base. After extensive damage from the Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, near the tripoint of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It is located in the Tri-Cabusilan Mountain range separating the west coast of Luzon from the central plains, and is west of the dormant and...

 eruption, the Philippine Government attempted to reopen base lease talks, but terms could not be reached and the lease was not extended.

In November 1991, the United States Air Force lowered the Stars and Stripes and transferred Clark Air Base to the Philippine government. With the United States military's withdrawal from Clark, the base was systematically looted and was left abandoned for several years. It finally became the Clark Freeport Zone and the site of Clark International Airport (CIA), renamed to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport , also called Clark International Airport , is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Freeport Zone and the general area of Angeles City in the Philippines...

 (DMIA) in 2003.

Military units

See the article List of military units of Clark Air Base.


During much of the Cold War, Clark Air Base's activity largely revolved around the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing and its fleet of F-4 Phantom II
F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable,...

 fighter jets. It also hosted an interceptor squadron and a flight school, all of which flew a variety of other combat aircraft. Transient aircraft of many types, especially cargo jets, were very common. Fighter planes regularly visited to participate in aerial warfare exercises at Crow Valley about 30 miles (50 km) to the northwest. In 1973 headquarters for the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing was transferred to Clark Air Base. With this move came two squadrons of C-130E transport aircraft, the 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron and the 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron.

Clark was served regularly by cargo and passenger flights to and from Andersen AFB, Guam; Kadena AB, Japan; Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia
Diego Garcia is a tropical, footprint-shaped coral atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean at 7 degrees, 26 minutes south latitude. It is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory [BIOT] and is positioned at 72°23' east longitude....

; Jakarta, Indonesia; Bangkok and Ubon Thailand; and Saigon, Vietnam (until 1975). During the 1970s, passengers arrived via Trans International
Trans International Airlines
Trans International Airlines was an airline which offered charter service from and within the United States. It offered scheduled service operating as Transamerica Airlines in its last decade...

 Douglas DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

 and Braniff International DC-8s (the Pickle and the Banana) flights from Travis AFB, California (via Honolulu and Guam). By 1980, the base had grown to such an extent that weekly Flying Tigers
Flying Tiger Line
Flying Tiger Line, also known as Flying Tigers, was the first scheduled cargo airline in the United States and a major military charter operator during the Cold War era for both cargo and personnel .- History :...

 Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

 service to St. Louis (via Kadena AB Japan; Anchorage; and Los Angeles) had begun. The 747 service was taken over by Tower Air
Tower Air
Tower Air was a certificated FAR 121 schedule and charter U.S. airline that operated from 1983 until 2000, when the company declared bankruptcy and was liquidated. Scheduled flights were initially offered over a New York - Brussels - Tel Aviv route in addition to charter flights to Athens,...

 sometime in the late 1980s, and was augmented with a weekly Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a major airline of the United States. It is the largest airline based in the State of Hawai'i, and is the 11th largest commercial airline in the country. Based in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu, the airline operates its main hub at Honolulu International...

 L-1011
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

 or Douglas DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

 to Guam-Honolulu-Los Angeles.

Culture

Clark Air Base was arguably the most urbanized military facility in history, and was the largest American base overseas. At its peak around 1990, it had a permanent population of 15,000. It had a base exchange, a large commissary, a small shopping arcade, a branch department store, cafeterias, teen centers, a hotel, miniature golf, riding stables, and other concessions.

Recreation

Angeles City bars were legendary, particularly around the red-light district on Fields Avenue. As a result, Clark's servicemen's clubs were under considerable pressure to serve its members with wholesome entertainment. All three were large-scale operations: the Officer's Club (CABOOM) near the parade ground, the Top Hat Club for NCOs near Lily Hill (moved to near the Silver Wing around 1986), and the Coconut Grove Airmen's Club with indoor palm trees. The NCO Club was a very extensive operation and operated an upscale dining room, an in-house thrift shop, and a calendar of daily activities. It regularly brought major bands and artists from the United States to perform.

At least a hundred sponsored clubs and organizations were active on the base, including Knights of Columbus
Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus....

, a Latino American club, martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 dojos, and more. Two major movie theaters operated daily: the Bobbitt Theater which played first-run films, and the Kelly Theater which showed older releases. By 1988 the Kelly no longer showed films at all but was used for Commander's Calls and large squadron sized meetings. In the late 1960s and early 1970s movies were also shown at the Bamboo Bowl (the football stadium on base).

The Bamboo Bowl, later renamed Challenger Field, was largely used for high school football games as the school did not have its own athletic field. In addition to high school football games it also hosted rec league football games for ages 8–18. The high school football teams were actually part of the rec league. The base's sole high school, Wagner High, actually had multiple football teams. It was also used for the base's 11 man tackle football league which not only included teams from Clark but from Subic Naval Base as well.

To keep the residents entertained at home, Clark had a very active broadcast center called FEN, or Far East Network Philippines, a division of American Forces Network
American Forces Network
The American Forces Network is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces American Forces Radio and Television Service for its entertainment and command internal information networks worldwide...

. A television station broadcast on Channel 8 until 1981, then Channel 17 afterward. It showed about 20 hours per day of syndicated programs from the "big three" networks in the United States, with local news and talk programs. This content was locally syndicated until 1983 when it began airing live programming by satellite from Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. FEN had two 24-hour radio stations: an AM station which broadcast news and popular music, and stereo FM which was dedicated to easy-listening and classical music. G.I.s could also receive local Filipino T.V. which aired newer American shows than F.E.N. did. Unlike the local T.V. stations in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 they were broadcast in the same format as American T.V. and not dubbed into Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

.

Two major annual events at Clark were the annual Chili Cookoff, held near the Silver Wing recreation center around September, and the Happening On the Green ("the HOG"). The HOG was a major carnival held on a designated weekend in February which attracted thousands of residents. Amusements and rides were built and operated not only by Filipino entertainment contractors but also by individual Air Force units seeking to boost unit morale, showcase their talents, and raise funds.

Clark's unique size and history allowed it to develop its own supernatural lore. By the 1970s, the Filipino "white lady" legend had established itself at Clark. Most variations of the story involved a young woman dressed in white who would hail a taxi late at night, and then would vanish from the vehicle enroute. More recently, the TV series Ghost Hunters International has done an investigation at the hospital.

Education

The Department of Defense Dependents Schools
Department of Defense Dependents Schools
The Department of Defense Dependents Schools are a network of schools, both primary and secondary, that serve dependents of United States military - and other non-US - personnel outside the United States. The schools themselves are operated by the Department of Defense Education Activity...

 (DoDDS) operated six schools in Clark, serving children from kindergarten to twelfth grade.
  • Elementary schools (kindergarten-5th grade): MacArthur Elementary School, V. I. Grissom Elementary School, and Wurtsmith Elementary School. The latter two were located in the hill housing area.
  • Middle schools (6th-8th grade): Lily Hill Middle School, and Wagner Middle School. The latter primarily served the hill housing area and officer dependents.
  • High school: Wagner High School, otherwise known as Wurtsmith Memorial High School in the 1960s and Clark Dependent School in the 1950s.


Additionally, Clark was also home to several community colleges, namely the Pacific Far East Campus of Central Texas College
Central Texas College
Central Texas College is a community college located in Killeen, Texas, which was founded in 1965.As defined by the Texas Legislature, the official service area of CTC comprises the following:...

. Classes were typically held in the evenings at Wagner High School.

Climate

Clark Air Base experienced two distinct seasons: a dry season from November through April, with a wet season from May through October. From 1953 to 1991, the mean daily low was 73.6°F and the mean daily high was 88.1°F, with April being warmest and January coolest. The average annual rainfall was 78.39 inches.

See also

  • Geography of the Philippines
    Geography of the Philippines
    The Philippines is an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands with a total land area of 300,000 km2. The 11 largest islands contain 94% of the total land area. The largest of these islands is Luzon at about 105,000 km2. The next largest island is Mindanao at about 95,000 km2...

  • Military History of the Philippines
    Military history of the Philippines
    -Battle of Mactan:The Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521, is celebrated as the earliest reported resistance of the natives in the Philippines against foreign invaders. Lapu-Lapu, a Chieftain of Mactan Island, defeated Christian European explorers led by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand...

  • Military History of the United States
    Military history of the United States
    The military history of the United States spans a period of over two centuries. During the course of those years, the United States evolved from a new nation fighting the British Empire for independence without a professional military , through a monumental American Civil War to the world's sole...

  • USAAF in the Southwest Pacific
    United States Army Air Forces in the South West Pacific Theatre
    During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces engaged in combat against the air, ground and naval forces of the Empire of Japan in the South West Pacific Theatre....

  • Clark Freeport Zone
    Clark Freeport Zone
    Clark Freeport Zone is a redevelopment of the former Clark Air Base, a former United States Air Force base in the Philippines. It is located on the northwest side of Angeles City and borders the municipality of Mabalacat in the province of Pampanga. It is located about 40 miles northwest of...

  • Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
    Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
    Diosdado Macapagal International Airport , also called Clark International Airport , is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Freeport Zone and the general area of Angeles City in the Philippines...



Other United States Air Force installations in the Philippines:
  • Camp O'Donnell
    Camp O'Donnell
    Camp O'Donnell was a facility of the United States Air Force in Capas, Tarlac, The Philippines. Before the facility was transferred to the Air Force, it was first a Philippine Constabulary post then a United States Army facility....

  • Crow Valley Range Complex
    Crow Valley Range Complex
    The Crow Valley Bombing and Gunnery Range or Crow Valley Gunnery Range, and presently Tarlac Military Testing Ground, was the main bombing range of the United States Armed Forces in the western Pacific, and currently by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Crow Valley is located in Camp O'Donnell...

  • John Hay Air Base
    John Hay Air Base
    John Hay Air Station, more commonly known as Camp John Hay, was a major hill station located in Baguio City used for rest and recreation for personnel and dependents of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines as well as Department of Defense employees and their dependents. It was last...

  • Mactan Air Base
    Mactan Air Base
    Mactan Air Base was a facility of the United States Air Force located on Mactan Island in Cebu, Philippines.-Location:Mactan Air Base is located on Mactan Island, off Cebu City in the province Cebu in the south central Philippines...

  • Wallace Air Station
    Wallace Air Station
    Wallace Air Station was a United States Air Force facility located in San Fernando, La Union, Luzon Island, The Philippines.-History and Background:...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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