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USAAF Sept 1, 1944
Google Earth 2003
7° 7' 32N 125° 38' 45E Davao Airfield is located at an elevation of 96' above sea level to the northeast of Davao (Davao City) on southeast Mindanao in the Philippines. Also known as Sasa Airfield or Francisco Bangoy Airport. Until 1967 located in Davao Province until subdivided into three provinces and since located in Davao de Sur Province.
On December 20, 1941 occupied by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and immediately repaired put to use as a military airfield. Afterwards, 1st Kokutai headquarters was based at Davao Airfield, but their aircraft were dispersed at several other airfields. Also based the 3rd Kokutai operating A6M2 Zeros.
On May 19, 1942 two captured P-40 Warhawks and a Stearman biplane were flown to Davao Airfield by American Prisoner Of War (POW) pilots Crosland and Erickson plus an American mechanic. At the airfield, Lt. Charley Sneed was asked to perform aerobatics. Afterwards, they ferried the aircraft northward to Nichols Field but were not allowed to take parachutes and told they would be shot if one tried to escape. The P-40s were piloted by Crosland and Erickson plus an American mechanic in the Stearman biplane. The three captured American aircraft were escorted by three Ki-46 Dinahs. Near the destination there was bad weather and the older P-40 landed at a small airfield to wait until the storm passed then proceeded to Nichols Field. This was the last flight of Far East Air Force (FEAF) aircraft in the Defense of the Philippines.
Used as a military airfield during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Starting in early August 1944 attacked by American bombers and later fighters until early March 1945.
American missions against Davao (Sasa)
December 24, 1941–May 3, 1945
On May 3, 1945 the U. S. Army 24th Infantry Division advanced from Digos occupied Davao, meeting only scattered resistance and occupied Davao Airfield.
Still in use today as Francisco Bangoy International Airport designated as an airport of entry. The single runway is oriented 23/05 measures 9,842' x 148' surfaced with asphalt. Airport codes: ICAO: RPMD IATA: DVO.
Doomed At The Start pages 424-426
Index to Air Bases - Research Report No. 85, I.G. No 9185 - July 30, 1944
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