Saturday, August 20, 2016

80) The 9th Squadron Moves North to Lingayen Airfield, Luzon, Philippines

Lingayen Gulf Liberation---This area was occupied by the Japanese from December 1941 until it was liberated by the US 6th Army who landed on January 9th 1945. During the initial landing over 60,000 troops were used. The number rose to over 200,000 in follow up landings. Link to more information: Invasion of Lingayen Gulf

Lingayen Airfield---After liberation the old airfield was repaired using Filipino "sawali" (finely woven split bamboo mats) with "marston matting" over the top to form a runway surface.  There is a community airport still in use at this location, serving the area of Lingayen.

Marston Matting--- Also known as PSP (Perforated Steel Matting) was developed by the U.S. and used during WW II to construct airfields. Steel strips were made with holes punched through and it was designed so that the pieces interlocked with each other. A runway could be created within a couple of days.

9th Fighter Squadron Unit History (Late February)---Early on the morning of the 25th the squadron loaded on C-46's and C-47's; before the day ended we were firmly settled in the campsite just evacuated by the 44th Fighter Squadron, 18th Group. The exchange was most profitable for the 9th, as the new camp is on the shore of Lingayen Bay, and the majority of personnel were proud possessors of bamboo constructed huts which were built off the ground - a far cry from the meadows of Mindoro. The 27th we flew routine local patrols, which wrapped up the flying for February.
9th FS Headquarters on Lingayen Gulf within 50' of the beach--1945--Courtesy of Ken Clark

Curtiss C-46 Commando--- a military transport aircraft used during WW II. It had powerful engines that enabled it to climb with very heavy loads and it had a very large cargo volume, twice that of the C-47. But, it was referred to by some pilots at the "flying coffin" and had at least 31 known instances of fires or explosions in flight.

Douglas C-47 Skytrain--- a military transport aircraft used in WW II.  It could cary up to 6,000 pounds of cargo.  As a troop transport it carried 28 soldiers in full combat gear.

No comments:

Post a Comment