Friday, December 28, 2007

from Rene Velazquez

Saludos GCA:

Prior to WW II, Clark Field was the aerodrome for Fort Stotsenberg – a cavalry post. The fort was named after Col. John Miller Stotsenberg of the First Nebraska Volunteers. He was killed on 23 April 1899 during the Philippine-American War.

According to contemporary accounts, on the morning of the 23rd, he was leading a battalion of the regiment in action against Filipino entrenchments near the Quinga river. On approaching the river (in what is now Plaridel, Bulacan) south of Calumpit, the batallion came under heavy fire from the dug-in Filipinos. The first casualties were Col. Stotsenberg, one lieutenant and two privates who were shot dead, and thirty-one men were wounded. Col. Stotsenberg apparently received three Mauser shots in the upper torso.

Fort Stotsenberg did not have an aerodrome until 1912 when the Philippine Air School was established. Construction of the runway started in 1919. It was named Clark Field in honor of Major Harold M. Clark.

Harold M. Clark was born in 1890 and died on 2 May 1919. He was acknowledged as the first United States airman to fly in Hawaii . He died in a seaplane crash in the Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal Zone and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery .

Fort Stotsenberg and Clark Field co-existed until shortly after the end of WW II, when it was renamed Clark Air Force Base.

I hope that sheds a little more light on the history of the place.