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Philippine Air Force pictures November/December 1941


vostoktrading
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I visited the Philippine Air Force Museum in Manila back in 2009. Got some good pictures, but they weren't the best pictures. I was a rank amateur photographer with a simple point and shoot camera (now I'm an amateur with a better camera) so forgive the poor quality of the pictures.

The museum was pretty neat, but most of the displays either had poor display/description cards or no cards at all. In some places it was difficult to know what exactly I was looking at. That was the case with Villamor's medals and decorations.

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What is a DODO? Must be an aviation recruit/pilot trainee? Here we have Filipinos in training wearing an armband, embroidered insignia and a patch that looks similar to the US cadet training patch. What does DODO stand for/mean? They even have a poem nailed to the wall.

 

Since a DODO is a flightless bird I'd venture to say that is marks a pre-solo cadet.

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ODO birds. The Philippine Air Force Flying School first year aviation cadets stands in snappy formation for inspection by their upperclassmen. For the first 5 (five) months of their flight cadetship they are labelled as 'dodo's', equivalent to that of a PMA plebe. When officially "accepted" into the Corps of Aviation Cadets, Philippine Air Force, their status changes and the DODO bird becomes extinct again. This from the modern PAF but I'm sure it was the same back then. pmanton was on the right track.

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My father-in-law's wings...

Early Philippine Air Force wings (pilot, senior pilot, command pilot) made by Meyer, N.Y. (marked at the back) I didn't know that Meyer made insignia for other countries. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) was formed in 1947, some months before the AAC became the USAF. My father-in-law was part of the PAF from it's formation but didn't become a pilot until 1951 (I found his PAF certificate) as they were busy with administrative stuff. Current PAF wings are different. Sorry for the pic quality... I used a scanner.

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His bullion pilot's wings... Must be from 1951, when he became a pilot. I find these really nice! Have never seen another.

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His ribbon rack... It's US. He has the medals that go with this... I don't know if this is all of it but this is what I found.

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His Veteran's cap... It has miniature ribbons on the other side.

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His Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cavalier Award... Awarded to outstanding PMA alumni. Awarded during the yearly graduation rites at Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City. This is dated 18 February 1989. Of course, there aren't many of these floating around. I have covered his name with tape but he was PMA batch 45'. This is on display inside a glass case in my house. Because of WW2, PMA Batch 45' graduated in the 80's. Not too many of them left to attend the graduation.

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His Philippine Air Force Flying School Alumni Association, Golden Aviator Award. Have to work on this one a bit... It fell off a table several years ago which cracked the pilot's feet. Needs some putty and re-painting from the kness down. Again, I covered his name with tape. He was the Wing Commander of Fernando Air Base, Lipa City.

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Found these with his stuff...

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How it started... In the very beginning it was the PCAC (Philippine Constabulary Air Corps) which became the PAAC (Philippine Army Air Corps) which became the PAF (Philippine Air Force).

As Pmanton stated, DODO is a pilot that hasn't solo'ed (it's in one of my books)

I have lots more stuff but it will be a lot of work to scan, take pics, etc. I need some time :-)

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Wow, great stuff! I love those Meyer wings. Please keep it coming.

You mentioned books? Which books?

Jon.

 

I have several old books about the Philippine military... Thing is, I doubt that these were ever for sale to the general public. I'm pretty sure that they were for distribution only to/ within the military.

 

The one I get most of my PAF info from belonged to my father-in-law (of course!)

 

The book is; Guardian of Philippine Skies, 1917 - 1968, by the PAF Historical Committee, Copyright 1969 by the Philippine Air Force.

 

Yes, I love the Meyer wings as well :-) One of them looks like one in the display case in a earlier post in this thread. My father-in-law had those same gray uniforms in the museum pic. The visor hat was the same color. His pic is also in the PAF museum.

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Nice ribbon rack.Is the 3rd ribbon top row a variation of the Independence Medal? Also the last ribbon look's like a variation of the U.S. WW2 Victory medal.

 

Sorry, I have no idea what the ribbons are :-( Any help is appreciated.

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The pics are PAAC (Philippine Army Air Corps), not Philippine Air Force (PAF) as the PAF was formed after WW2. Pre-WW2 and during it was the PAAC.

 

My father-in-law was a PAF general. He was a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA, the Philippine equivalent of West Point) when war broke out. The cadets were all sent home (some did fight the Japanese, in different capacities). I never asked my father-in-law what he did during the war as he never talked about it. However, most of his ribbons and medals are US.

 

He became one of the first officers in the then new Philippine Air Force. I inherited most of his insignia and military stuff. The pilot's wings (pilot, senior pilot, command pilot) are interesting as they have the Philippine seal in the middle but are US made, by Meyer, New York. Apparently, the PAF still had their various insignia made by Meyer. I have some of his old bullion wings as well.

 

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I agree. The Nov. 1941 photos are of the Philippine Army Air Corps (PAAC).

 

They became part of the US Army Forces-Far East (USAFFE) under Gen. MacArthur. Many of them ended up as infantry during the Bataan Campaign, much like their USAAF counterparts at the time.

 

Filipinos have been a very integral part of the American military, from the Insular period and well after the P.I. became a Republic--I even have photos of Philippine Republic troops wearing American SSI during the Korean War (That's for later...).

 

They have a definite home here on the forum.

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Sorry, I have no idea what the ribbons are :-( Any help is appreciated.

 

Darktide, for the ribbons....

 

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I'm not sure what the 2nd row, 3rd ribbon is, but I concur... it probably was a Philippine WWII Victory Ribbon. If I find out more, I'll post it here.

 

(Note: The PI had a different WWI Victory Ribbon from the American version, so it is possible that the PI had a different WWII Victory Ribbon, too)

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Darktide, for the ribbons....

 

post-4247-0-15728400-1356885003_thumb.jpg

 

I'm not sure what the 2nd row, 3rd ribbon is, but I concur... it probably was a Philippine WWII Victory Ribbon. If I find out more, I'll post it here.

 

(Note: The PI had a different WWI Victory Ribbon from the American version, so it is possible that the PI had a different WWII Victory Ribbon, too)

 

Wow! Thank you for the ID! Now I know what the ribbons are. Appreciate it! :-)

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  • 2 months later...

A few questions: The facial hair: What's the deal? These are American advisors with Philippine Forces. Some of them had full beards.

 

I can't remember which book it was but it said there that quite a few Americans adopted the beard as some form of protest and solidarity for having their families (wives and children) ordered back to the US in May 1941. Also it was to impress Filipinos who were commonly not able to grow such full beards.

 

I'll have to keep an eye for that book. It may have been Death March by Donald Knox.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very nice selection of photographs rarely seen of PAAC. Their per war insignia was the same insignia used by the USAAC, winged patch and collar insignia. The only difference insignia were the pilots wings, made by Zamora not Meyer, their Air Corp DI and the Philippine Army officers hat insignia. Attached is a photo of the pilots wings made by Zamora and DI. post-9107-0-10810300-1365190627.jpgpost-9107-0-70444800-1365190667.jpgpost-9107-0-10810300-1365190627.jpgpost-9107-0-10810300-1365190627.jpgpost-9107-0-70444800-1365190667.jpg

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