Welcome to the the
Clark Air Base Scrapbook. Take a
cyber leap back to a 20th Century icon of
the American military experience. The Site Lines
below will transport will you through time and space
to that very special place in the land we mostly called 'da PI.
With apologies to those who served at Subic
Bay and other Navy
and Marine locations, this one is for the Air Force -- mostly central Luzon,
that huge outpost that was first a U.S. Army cavalry post, Fort Stotsenberg,
until the creation of the Air Force in 1947, when it then became Clark Air Base.
1972 -- Landing
at Clark, with a Phantom and
a Thud parked on the flightline.
(Photo by Tom Utts)
Clark Air Base was the largest overseas U.S. military base in the world, with
156,204 acres. While most of that was unoccupied fields and jungle, the base grew up
around the old cavalry post's large parade field, surrounded by wide, magnificent trees. At one
end, the 13th Air Force Headquarters occupied buildings that went back to the early part of the 20th
Century. At the opposite end stood the base headquarters and the administrative centers for GIs assigned
there. Along the sides of the parade field that once resounded with the thunder of polo ponies and Sunday
afternoon band concerts in bygone days, was housing both new and old. On one side, dating back to back to the
the horse soldiers days, stood the Officers' Club surrounded by the graceful old homes with large verandahs,
another remnant from the past, affectionately called barns by the occupants. Across the field was housing
build after World War II. From the old center of the base, curved boulevards wound past the shopping
areas, clubs, recreational facilities, barracks and work centers, on the way to the new center of
the base, the flightline. There in the huge expanse of concrete and buildings were the aircraft
operations and maintenance centers. And behind all, mountains loomed from the dark
green jungle, including Mount Pinatubo, though few at Clark were aware
of its existence until those fateful days and nights
that began unfolding in April 1991.
From the area pictured above, it was
nearly three miles to the main gate, (below), that
provided access to Balibago and Angeles City. Beyond the
gate the land was flat, except for one magnificent peak, Mount Arayat,
a dramatic symbol of the time and place for those who served in the Philippines.
Fort Stotsenberg Years,
U.S. Army's Horse Soldiers
and Clark Field.
Picking up the pieces and rebuilding.
Arial photo unit documents Clark
and Manila after WWII ends.
The story of the 29th Radio Squadron Mobil
in the days after WWII as the former
Army post becomes Clark Air Base.
Around Clark in the
early 1950s, those long gone
The Korean War ended, Ike
was president and America
entered a Golden Era.
On base diversions included AFRTS
radio & TV. Or the best Airmen's
Club in PACAF. With Bob!
Early Jets make an appearance,
but still lots of propellors
on the big ones.
Angeles City was the place.
Balibago was just a Jeepney
ride past open field.
Lost innocence -- a president
killed, war defines the decade,
Clark still a great assignment.
In the 50s they were Air Police,
the 60s, Security Police, by any
name Clark cops saw lots of action.
Clark troops vital to Vietnam
as illustrated by one young
Pictures from 1970-1971, from
an aircraft maintenance crew chief
who worked on the crowded flightline.
POW go home through Clark,
long war ends. America has Vietnam
hangover, but life is good at Clark.
13th Air Force Public Affairs
Office in early 70s. Your
webmaster's duty shack.
Balibago is just outside
the gates -- and the action
In July 1972 it started to rain
. . . and rain . . . and rain
some more. . .
Bases returned to Philippines in
79, US is tenant. Marcos out in 86.
Terrorist violence starts in 87.
The flightline is never still with the
roar of F-4s, C-130s, Jolly Greens,
and MAC flights.
The decade starts out pleasant,
but grows increasing radical
Never ending battle to safeguard
life and property is an
on going struggle.
Great Wall of Clark goes up,
the Thunderbirds visit, Crow Valley Cops
in action, and some Holy Week Doings.
Shootings, increasing mission
demands, earthquake in Baguio,
but there was also Billy Joel.
When the gate wasn't locked
Cope Thunder TDY troops
help keep Balibago green.
1991 -- First a little steam, then
the ground started moving.
14,000 hit the road to Subic.
The 2,000 that stayed behind didn't
have to wait long. The first eruptions
weren't bad, until the big one hit.
More photos and stories about
Clark after the eruption, from
editor of last Philippine Flyer.
November 26, 1991,
the final US Air Force
day at Clark.
Stars&Stripes report from
April 2001 about Clark
and what remains.
A USAFer recent pictures
with comments on what's
happened since the pullout.
A retired USAF SP's
photos of Cark Field
My trip back to see what is happening
at Clark and the area around the base
19 years after Pinatubo.
Pictures by Your Host
Combing through boxes of old slides your host
found these pictures, most from 1971 and 1973.
Okay, actually Balibago, some
night lights and night sights.
Off base to Manila, Pagsunana Falls,
Tagaytay and Taal Volcano.
Come see the Holy Week
festivities. You won't believe it.
This is for one of the most
remarkable Clark characters.
More pictures of the return
of the American prisoners in 1973.
|***2012--THE FINAL PAGE***
In the 20 years since the USAF left Clark, there have
been many chages. Some of that is reflected here.
For more information go to
1961st Comm Group:AFCSers, communicators and air traffic controllers
Cobra Den: Security Service Troops
Another Pinatubo Page: Mark Bell, Clark, 89-91, has a Pinatubo Page
High Online Alumni (WHOA) Pages:
WHOA's CAB Page: Wagner High tribute
Day at Clark, Balibago, Philippines:
Margarita Station: What's Happening at Clark and Angeles City today
Balibago: Believe It Or Don't -- Balibago has a page promoting business and tourism
Guide: to the Philippines by former Wallace AS NCO
Subic Bay PI: Jim Holub, USMC, salutes Subic and other favorite bases including Clark
Recent Photos: Gary Wiley, a former dependent, pictures from a 1998 visit
AFPAAA: Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association, for all former USAF flacks & hacks
AFSPA: Air Force Security Police Association Page
Interest USAF And Other Military Sites:
Greg Johnson's Air Force Stories: A former pilot recalls his days in the cockpit
Loadmaster: Former Clark C-130 Loadmaster Sam McGowan's tribute to airlifters
Unofficial USAF Locator: An excellent place to find former Air Force buddies
Kadena & Osan: Site by Bill Bayless, he was with me on the USS Pueblo fandango in 1968.
host's other pages:
Home Page: Z'Cap's Lair: "A little intro music, please"
KOREA BLUE: My Vietnam novel takes place in Korea -- how to find a copy
Bother Bill's Place: Bill isn't here anymore, his name is on The Wall
My Glorious Military Career: A Omaha lad wanders into the Marines and retires a USAF Captain.