Located in Caloocan to the north of Manila. Located at the Grace Park subdivision, between Highway 54 running perpendicular to the north and Highway 52 running diagonally parallel to the runway. Also known as "Manila North Airfield".
Built prior to the war, it was the first commercial airfield in Manila. Used by the local airline, Philippine Aerial Taxi Company and for light aircraft service to Loakan Airfield (Baguio) and other destinations. The original runway was known as the "old runway" during World War II.
The Japanese built a concrete surface runway. They also used Highway 54 (EDSA) near the Balintawak Market as another runway.
Curtis Brooks adds:
"I was a prisoner at Santo Tomas Internment Camp throughout the Japanese occupation. Santo Tomas is about one mile south of Grace Park. We had a good view of the air activity around the air field. Grace Park was attacked by American Naval aircraft beginning in September 1944 as were all the other air fields and shipping installations in the Manila area.
During the liberation
of Manila in 1945, this airfield was occupied by the US Army and used by liaison planes (L-4, L-5). No USAAF units were ever permanently
based at this airfield.
American Missions Against Grace Park
23, 1944 - January 10, 1945
"During the battle of Manila, we flew over Grace Park and I landed there in my L-5, with General Kruger as a passenger. We got out,
parked the plane and he went to do his inspection. When we were ready to leave, we heard a 'whoomp'
and some mortars hit nearby. I ran back to the plane, fearing that
they would have destroyed it but luckily it was not hit. We took off and
got out of there quickly! This mortar crew must have been watching us when we
landed, luckily their round missed."
James A. Russo, Jr. recalls:
"During late 1945 and 1946, I was stationed at the Grace Park Airstrip, along with other certified Artillery spotter pilots flying for the Military Police, the CID and other military units. The only snap shots that I still have would be me standing alongside my L4 Piper Cub aircraft. My twin brother was also stationed there as a pilot and one picture that I have is both of us standing on the airstrip in front of some L4 aircraft. Contact me if you would care for further information."
Remained in use as an airfield until at least 1946.
Disused since the war and developed into an industrial area. The airfield is located in Kalookan on Rizal Avenue Extension
between 2nd and 11th street. The area is now urban
center, there is no 'park' or trace of the strip. The Japanese built runway was near the present day Gotesco Mall.
Tony Feredo adds:
"From the LRT at Gotesco Station, look to the east. That area used to be flat. That was the airfield. Now its with residential and commercial establishment. If you are at the monument, look southeast from the rotunda."
Thanks to Tony Feredo for additional information
Terrain Handbook 41A Manila City page 39
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
December 30, 2013