Sabotage of Jungle Skipper C-47’s at Clark Field 1945
I want to thank all those who responded to my request for information regarding the loss of C-47’s at Clark Field.
I received both first hand accounts and copies of official reports regarding the incident. Here is an account based on what
I gleaned from the information I received.
There were a total of eight C-47’s lost in two separate acts of sabotage by the infiltrators. One official report lists the
attacks coming from persons unknown. There was some speculation that it may have come from HUK rebels, but the most
likely source was Japanese infiltrators. There were many Japanese in the mountains near the airfield. One had been reported
as seen near the airstrip and army infantry patrols were continually on the look out for enemy soldiers.
The 39th and 40th had parked their aircraft on Clark Field. The 41st and 46th had located their aircraft at Clark auxiliary
field No. 4 called Nichols field. It was a grass PSP strip south of the main field and separated from it by a large deep creek.
The aircraft parking area was unlit at night and guards were posted and relieved at regular intervals. All four squadrons were
camped in tents on a hill to the south end of the strip. On 11 March 1945 there were explosions in the tail section of five
41st squadron C-47’s causing catastrophic damage to the aircraft. There was a lot of commotion following the noise of the
explosions. Everyone had their weapons in hand and was on the look out for the enemy. Crew chiefs taxied the unharmed
aircraft away from the burning ones. Needless to say security was stepped up considerably following this attack. The guards
were on edge and the officer of the day had to be quick to identify himself upon hearing a click from the hammers being drawn
back by nervous guards. On 13 March, two days after the attack another 41st C-47 was damaged by machine gun fire when
guards were mistaken for enemy agents and fired upon by the fleet air wing shore patrol. Soon after this, the Army CID took
over all security for the aircraft. Then on 18 March the 46th Squadron lost three aircraft when enemy time bombs went off
destroying the nose section of the aircraft. None of the infiltrators were ever found and no further losses occurred.
Fortunately, there was no loss of life to US Military forces from the attacks.
41st Troop Carrier Squadron C-47A aircraft lost in 11 Mar. 45 attack
42-93497, 43-15435, 43-15458, 43-15488, 43-47996
46th Troop Carrier Squadron C-47A aircraft lost in 18 Mar. 45 attack
42-23582, 42-23708, 43-16241
Many thanks to Jungle Skipper Veterans Ken Young, Dick Korthals, Andy Bacha, Howard Stewart, O.C. Wilkins, Frank Elston,
R. W. Browne and Jerry Matarazzo for their help with this report.