Prewar Footage of FEAF in Critical Past Films

Critical Past is a website offering views and purchase of rare films, including many from World War II. There are a few from 1941 in the Philippines that show elements of the Far East Air Force just prior to the war, which give some idea of aviation in the Philippines in that day, though not quite the Bataan experience. But they are still worth a view to anyone interested. The links and descriptions for several of them (there may be more?), in no particular order, are:

(Note: Be sure to avail yourself to the still clip views from the films located below the videos at links below!)

Members of the U.S. Army 17th Pursuit Squadron at Nichols Field in the Philippines, before World War II, in the Pacific. (1 minute, 43 seconds, no sound)

Description: “Scenes of Nichols Field, the Philippines, in 1941, before World War 2, in the Pacific. An airman plays with a budgerigar parakeet that sits on the shoulder and walks on his hands and arms. Group of airmen conversing in front of Squadron building. A truck, with Nichols Field painted on its side, arrives. A Bolo bomber (B-18), is seen in background. An airman drinks a coke and dons a checkered white cap with 17th written on it. A seversky P-35 pursuit airplane, originally slated for delivery to Sweden (note fuselage insignia), lands on the airfield.”

Blog comment: A close observer of the video above will notice ace pilot to be Buzz Wagner, with mustache and pipe, amidst the pilots seen.


U.S. Philippine Department Air Force activity at Nichols Field in the Philippines prior to World War II in Pacific. (2 minutes, 8 seconds, no sound)

Description: “U.S. Philippine Department Air Force personnel assembling new Seversky P-35A pursuit planes at Nichols Field in the Philippines prior to World War II in the Pacific. These have Swedish roundel markings with 3 yellow crowns on a blue circle background, identifying them as J 9 aircraft for the Swedish Air Force. They were initially sold to Sweden as Republic EP-106 aircraft and redesignated as P-35A by the US Army Air Corps. Because of imbargoes in place due to World War 2, in Europe, these aircraft were diverted to the U.S. Army. Mechanics push a Seversky P-35A (J 9) fuselage on the tarmac outside a hangar. Mechanics work on P-35 engine in the hangar. A sign reads ‘Headquarters 17th Pursuit Squadron’ at a tent bivouac area. Airmen talk outside a tent. Views from a car driving through nearby residential neighborhood of Ramaville. Two men in white suits with a woman on porch of a house Several P-35A airplanes flying low over the area. Airmen loading a car with baggage.”
Activities at the Philippine Air Force Batangas Air Base, prior to World War II in the Pacific. (1 minute, 48 seconds, no sound)

Description: “Philippine Army Air Corps (PAAC) and U.S. Philippine Department Air Force aircraft at the PAAC’s Batangas Air Field, prior to World War 2 in the Pacific. Large group of Filipino boys playing a game on the ground. Building with a sign reading ‘Last Chance Bar, Batangas Officers Club’. Two U.S. Army officers, one dressed in white shorts, step from the club and pose, drinking beer from bottles. U.S. Seversky P-35 pursuit plane parked on the field along with several USAAC P-26 Peashooter airplanes. Two P-26s take off. Arriving passengers stand around a Sikorsky S-43 Baby Clipper amphibious plane, as their baggage is unloaded. The Baby Clipper starts engines and takes off. The passengers walk toward the airfield gate. Logo on the aircraft nose indicates that the S-43 is operated by the Iloilo-Negros Air Express Co. (INAEC).”
U.S. military aircraft parked on an airfield in the Philippines prior to World War 2, in the Pacific. (1 minute, 22 seconds, no sound)
Aerial views of the Philippines coastline prior to World War II in the Pacific. Ships in a harbor. Views of U.S. military aircraft parked an airfield, including Consolidated PBY Catalina aircraft; Boeing P-26 Peashooters; and Seversky P-35 aircraft. Many ships are seen in waters off shore.
U.S. Army Pilots of 17th Pursuit Squadron pose with P-35 airplane on Nichols Field, Philippines. B-17 lands. (1 minute, 58 seconds, no sound)

Description: “Nichols Field, Philippines, prior to World War II in the Pacific. Seversky P-35 pursuit plane parked with engine running. Pilots of the U.S. Army 17th Pursuit Squadron pose on and around a P-35 airplane. B-17 Flying Fortress bomber lands and parks. U.S. Army airmen walking around and examining the parked B-17. The number 21 and 5B painted on the tail of the B-17.”


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