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5th AF c1945
US Army c1945
Robert Laessig c1945
Lat 9° 44' 32N Long 118° 45' 31E Puerto Princesa Airfield is located at Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island in Palawan Province in the Philippines. Located inland from Puerto Princesa Seaplane Base and the port area. Also known as "Puerto Princesa Airfield" or "Palawan Airfield". During World War II, many Americans misspelled the location as "Puerta Princesa". Today still in use as Puerto Princesa Airport.
Built by the Japanese using Prisoner Of War (POW) laborers. The runway was surfaced with crushed coral. The former grass runway was located south of NCCC Mall Palawan on Lacao Street.
During the Pacific War, used by both the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF).
Japanese units based at Puerto Princesa
71st Sentai (Ki-43 Oscar)
During late 1944 until February 28, 1945 heavily bombed by American aircraft.
American missions against Puerto Princesa
October 28, 1944–February 27, 1945
On February 28, 1945 the U. S. Army 41st Infantry Division "Jungleers" Regimental Combat Team (RCT) made an amphibious landing at Puerto Princesa and captured Puerto Princesa Airfield. At the captured airfield was Ki-43-II Oscar and B6N Jill.
After liberation, repairs and expansion were begun on Puerto Princesa Airfield by the U. S. Army 8th Engineers for American usage. Over twelve days, the 1897th Engineer Aviation Battalion reconstructed the 4,000' runway. On March 20, 1945 the first American aircraft began landing at Puerto Princesa Airfield.
By early March, 13th Air Force Fighter Command moved to Puerto Princesa Airfield, where it was based until the end of the war. Puerto Princesa (Palawan Airfield) was designated as U. S. Army APO 705.
On April 14, 1945 U. S. Navy Commander Fleet Air Wing 10 arrived at Puerto Princessa, to direct patrol plane operations against the shipping in the South China Sea and along coast of Indo-China (Vietnam).
American units based at Puerto Princesa
U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF)
13th AF, 13th Fighter Command, Headquarters March 1945 - August 1945
13th AF, 419th NFS (ground echelon) Middleburg March 6, 1945 (P-61) Morotai March 16, 1945
347th FG, HQ San Jose March 6, 1945
347th FG, 67th FS (ground echelon) San Jose March 6, 1945 (P-38) Morotai March 21 - August 1945
347th FG, 68th FS (P-38) San Jose March 6, 1945
347th FG, 339th FS (ground echelon) San Jose March 6, 1945 (P-38) Morotai March 25, 1945
42nd BG, 69th BS (ground echelon) Sansapor March 6, 1945 Morotai March 22, 1945
42nd BG, 100th BS (B-25) Sansapor March 15, 1945 / Morotai March 22, 1945
42nd BG, 390th BS (B-25) Morotai March 21, 1945
42nd BG, 75th BS (B-25) Sansapor March 22, 1945
13th AF, 550th NFS (P-38, P-61 detachment) ? - June 19, 1945 Tacloban
USN, Fleet Air Wing 10 (PB4Y2 Privateers) April 14, 1945
18th FG, 12th FS (P-38) San Jose April 26 - May 11, 1945 Zamboanga
311th Photographic Wing, 2nd Photographic Charting Squadron (F-7) Morotai May 5, 1945
4th PRG, 17th PRS (F-5, B-25) Morotai May 7 1945 until the end of the Pacific War
U. S. Navy (USN)
VPB-106 "Wolverators" PB4Y-1 / PB4Y-2 1945
VPB-111 PB4Y-1 / PB4Y-2 1945
In the 1970s, repaired and reopened on March 21, 1975 as Puerto Princesa Airport a civilian airport operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. The single runway is oriented 27/09 measures 8,530' x 148' surfaced with concrete. Airport codes: ICAO: RPVP IATA: PPS.
The runway is shared with Antonio Bautista Air Base operated by the Philippine Air Force (PAF). Named in honor of Colonel Antonio Bautista, a PAF pilot who was shot down and killed during a battle with Philippine rebels during January 1974.
Thanks to Tony Feredo for additional information
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