An Aerial Echo of Bataan

The echoes of Bataan continued after the guns of the 1942 campaign were silenced. “Remember Bataan” became a rallying cry for Fil-Am forces and citizens during the war in the Pacific and subsequent liberation of the Philippines.

General Douglas MacArthur, though he may have been heavily criticized for leaving the Philippines in early 1942, certainly remembered Bataan, as seen in the naming of his personal aircraft which were used for years afterwards.  The name “Bataan” reverberated across Pacific skies in these aircraft.

After General MacArthur arrived in Australia, he traveled around Australia in a Douglas C-47A Skytrain transport and/or a Douglas DC-3 airliner as his personal transport.

General MacArthur arrives "Somewhere in Australia", 1942.  (Courtesy John.Curtin.edu.au)

General MacArthur arrives “Somewhere in Australia”, 1942, with a C-47 in the background. (Courtesy John.Curtin.edu.au)

If he traveled over water he changed aircraft and flew in his air commander General George C. Kenney’s personal transport, the Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress heavy bomber, serial number 41-2633, named “Sally.”  This B-17 from the 19th Bomb Group was damaged in a landing accident after a combat mission in July, 1942, repaired and then placed into service for the Commanding General of Fifth Air Force (and later the Far East Air Forces) General George Kenney.

General MacArthur is awarding Gen. Kenney the Distinguished Service Medal, with the crew of the Sally watching by their aircraft. (Courtesy Whence We Come web log)

General MacArthur is awarding Gen. Kenney the Distinguished Service Medal, with the crew of the Sally watching by their aircraft. (Courtesy Whence We Come web log)

In November, 1943, General MacArthur obtained his own personal transport, a Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress heavy bomber, serial number 41-2593, which he named “Bataan,” later known as “Bataan I.”

B-17E serial number 41-2593 with a B-17F nose piece served as MacArthur's personal transport named "Bataan." It was later known as "Bataan I" when MacArthur obtained a new C-54 "Bataan II."  (Courtesy Oz at War.com)

B-17E serial number 41-2593 with a B-17F nose piece served as MacArthur’s personal transport named “Bataan.” It was later known as “Bataan I” when MacArthur obtained a new C-54 “Bataan II.” (Courtesy Oz at War.com)

In April, 1945, General MacArthur adopted a new transport, a Douglas C-54 (converted to VC-54E) Skymaster transport, which he named “Bataan II.” Bataan I was flown to Wright Field, Ohio for repairs and left there.

In 1945, 1st Lt. Bob Normile and Lt. Col. Wheldon "Dusty" Rhodes, Gen. MacArthur’s chief pilot, were checked out on Gen. MacArthur's new C-54 personal transport at the Douglas Aircraft plant in Santa Monica, CA.  The five stars in line on the nose that denoted MacArthur’s rank; the stars were later displayed in a circle pattern.  (Courtesy Don Moore's War tales.com)

In 1945, 1st Lt. Bob Normile and Lt. Col. Wheldon “Dusty” Rhodes, Gen. MacArthur’s chief pilot, were checked out on Gen. MacArthur’s new C-54 personal transport at the Douglas Aircraft plant in Santa Monica, CA. The five stars in line on the nose that denoted MacArthur’s rank; the stars were later displayed in a circle pattern. (Courtesy Don Moore’s War tales.com)

General MacArthur flew aboard this VC-54E aircraft, serial number 44-9027, “Bataan II” when he arrived in Japan on 30 August 1945.

General Douglas MacArthur deplanes from VC-54E 44-9027, "Bataan II," at Atsugi Airfield, Japan, on 30 August 1945.  (Courtesy Cordia-farms.com)

General Douglas MacArthur deplanes from VC-54E 44-9027, “Bataan II,” at Atsugi Airfield, Japan, on 30 August 1945. (Courtesy Cordia-farms.com)

Clip from 2012 movie “Emperor,” of MacArthur’s arrival aboard VC-54 “Bataan” at Atsugi Airfield, Japan 30 August 1945, as depicted at:

Douglas MacArthur arriving at Atsugi Airfield near Tokyo, Japan, 30 Aug 1945; note Major General Joseph Swing, Lieutenant General Richard Sutherland, and General Robert Eichelberger.  (Courtesy World  War II Database.com)

Douglas MacArthur arriving at Atsugi Airfield near Tokyo, Japan, 30 Aug 1945; note Major General Joseph Swing, Lieutenant General Richard Sutherland, and General Robert Eichelberger. (Courtesy World War II Database.com)

General MacArthur continued to use a VC-54 as personal transport in his role as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) (as well as his other responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief, Far East; and Commanding General, U.S. Army, Far East) during the Japanese occupation, and into the early part of the Korean War (in his added role as Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command).

GENERAL MACARTHUR INSPECTS KOREAN WAR FRONT:  General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in-Chief, Far East Command, on an inspection tour of the South Korean Forces after the surprise attack by the North Koreans.  (U.S. Army photo. via US Forces Korea page on Facebook)

GENERAL MACARTHUR INSPECTS KOREAN WAR FRONT: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in-Chief, Far East Command, on an inspection tour of the South Korean Forces after the surprise attack by the North Koreans. (U.S. Army photo. via US Forces Korea page on Facebook)

During the Korean War, General MacArthur obtained a new personal transport, Lockheed VC-121A Constellation, serial number 48-613, from September, 1950, to April, 1951, and named it “Bataan.”  Of note, this aircraft was a veteran of the Berlin Airlift before it was converted into a VIP transport for service in the Far East.

General Douglas MacArthur named his VC-121A transport "Bataan" after his World War II experiences in the Philippines.  (U.S. Air Force photo)

General Douglas MacArthur named his VC-121A transport “Bataan” after his World War II experiences in the Philippines. (U.S. Air Force photo)

He flew in this aircraft from the Far East to Wake Island in October 1950 to meet with his Commander in Chief, President Truman, as UN Forces after the Inchon landings were advancing into North Korea.

President Truman reads the citation for the award of a fourth oak leaf cluster to MacArthur's Distinguished Service Medal on Wake Island. In the background are from left: Press Secretary Charles Ross, Commander in Chief Pacific Admiral Arthur Radford, Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Omar Bradley.  (Courtesy Wikipedia)

President Truman reads the citation for the award of a fourth oak leaf cluster to MacArthur’s Distinguished Service Medal on Wake Island. In the background are from left: Press Secretary Charles Ross, Commander in Chief Pacific Admiral Arthur Radford, Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Omar Bradley. (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Only weeks later, UN forces in the north near the Yalu river and the Chinese border would experience another battle as savage as the fighting on Bataan was in 1942.  General MacArthur continued to use “Bataan” until he was relieved of his commands by President Truman in April 1951 (Supreme Commander, Allied Powers; Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command; Commander-in-Chief, Far East; and Commanding General, U.S. Army, Far East).  Afterwards, VC-121A “Bataan” was used by General Matthew Ridgeway, MacArthur’s replacement in the Far East.

Of General MacArthur’s “Bataan” aircraft, his last aircraft, the VC-121A, is today preserved at the at the Planes of Fame Museum, Valle, Arizona.

On display at the Planes of Fame Museum in Valle, AZ on August 16, 2006 as General MacArthur's personal aircraft "Bataan" (Tom Beudeker, via Connie survivors.com)

On display at the Planes of Fame Museum in Valle, AZ on August 16, 2006 as General MacArthur’s personal aircraft “Bataan” (Tom Beudeker, via Connie survivors.com)

References, with more details and images

MacArthur and C-47 in Australia, at: http://john.curtin.edu.au/macarthur/essay1.html

Peter Dunn’s “Oz at War” website, DOUGLAS DC-3 VH-ANR
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2, at: http://www.ozatwar.com/usaaf/vh-anr.htm

Gen Kenney B-17 “Sally” image at: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3302/3226167778_4725f62ffb_b.jpg

MacArthur and “Sally” pictures at: http://fromwhencewecome.net/2011/11/12/donald-adermans-wwii-air-force-service/

Peter Dunn’s “Oz at War” website, B-17E FLYING FORTRESS “SALLY”
THE FLYING OFFICE FOR GENERAL GEORGE C. KENNEY
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2 at: http://www.ozatwar.com/usaaf/sally.htm

Peter Dunn’s “Oz at War” website, “BATAAN”, GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR’S
PERSONAL AIRCRAFT IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2,” at: http://www.ozatwar.com/usaaf/bataan.htm

Moore, Don, “1st Lt. Bob Normile flew Gen. MacArthur to the surrender ceremonies ending WWII,” at: http://donmooreswartales.com/2012/06/29/bob-normile/

MacArthur’s Connie ‘BATAAN’ at: http://www.carljackdaniels.com/Airplanes/Military-Aircraft/MacArthurs-Connie-BATAAN/

General Douglas MacArthur’s Lockheed C-121A Constellation –Bataan, at the Planes of Fame Museum, Valle, Arizona., at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wingsnstuff/3793161218/

President Truman’s relief of General Douglas MacArthur, Wikipedia entry, at; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_Truman%27s_relief_of_General_Douglas_MacArthur

Image of MacArthur’s VC-121A Bataan, in Combat Cargo Fact Sheet, National Museum of the Air Force, at: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1930

Color image of MacArthur at Atsugi, at: http://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=3565

MacArthur deplanes at Atsugi, Australian War memorial, at: http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P00633.001

Info on VC-54E 44-9027at: http://www.uswarplanes.net/c54.html

Info on VC-121 48-613, at: http://www.conniesurvivors.com/N422NA.htm

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