Clark Field The Birthplace of the Kamikaze


Battle of Leyte Gulf

A marker, naming the birthplace of the Kamikaze is located two miles north of the town of Mabalacat on MacArthur Highway, along Clark's eastern perimeter. During the war, the American liberators thought that these suicide planes were flying from Northern Luzon, but in their postwar interrogations, Japanese airmen insisted that the attacks had originated at Clark Field. This fact subsequently was confirmed: two Kamikaze pilots had flown circuitous routes to avoid U.S. fighter patrols, and thus had left the impression that the attacks came from Northern Luzon.

During the course of the American re-invasion of the Philippines, the Japanese conducted extensive counter air operations from Clark Field. Japanese Kamikaze pilots also operated from an airstrip just north of Clark, near Mabalacat, Pampanga, against allied shipping. During the liberation of the Philippines, Americans extensively bombed Clark, thus, for the second time in only a few years, the base came under heavy attack.

Post-war investigations revealed that from the beginning of Allied air attacks on Clark, Nichols, and Nielson fields in October 1944 until February 1945, 1,505 Japanese aircraft were put out of action on the ground. At Clark, the heavy bomber attacks had caused the Japanese to disperse repair shops, storage areas, and maintenance units, scattering them as far as Bamban. Sometimes, parts were hidden or even buried, often becoming inaccessible later. One captured Japanese aircraft needed only one of the carburetors buried at Mabalacat to be ready for flight. In fact, when Allied troops captured Mabalacat, they found over 200 aircraft engines, some of which had never been uncrated.

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