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    David Field (Enrique Malek Airport) Chiriquí Province Panama

Location
Lat 08°23′28″N Long 082°26′06″W  Located in the city of David, Chiriquí Province in western Panama.

Construction
Built by the US Army during 1941 as an auxiliary airfield for Howard Field. Known as "David Field", "David Army Airfield". The original single runway was 6,000' x 450' surfaced with sod, later known as the "old runway". Later, an asphalt "new runway" was built 5,800 x 200' with ravetments. By 1944, the airfield had Army and Navy radio towers, operations buildings.

Wartime History
Used for training and reconnaissance missions over the Southeast Pacific coastline, from Honduras in the north, Peru in the south as in the defense of the Panama Canal.

American units based at David Field
6th BG, 397th BS (B-18, B-17) December 11, 1941 - August 18, 1942
6th AF, 7th Reconnaissance Squadron (B-17, B-24) Howard December 11, 1941 - ?
40th BG, 45th BS (LB-30, B-24A) November 13, 1942 - February 18, 1943
6th AF Bomber Command, 3rd BS (B-17) March 12 - April1, 1943 returns June 11, 1943-April 1944, returns Dec 8, 1944 - Oct 28, 1945
6th BG, 3rd BS (B-24) Talara March 12 - April 1, 1943 Talara returns April 6 Howard

On July 13, 1943, there was an accident at this airfield that claimed the life of 12 airmen when their B-17 Flying Fortress stalled during approach and crashed in the runway

Postwar
Renewed and modernized to improve its facilities and is now used for civilian flights.

Today
Known as "Enrique Malek International Airport", airport code MPDA. This airport is the second largest in Panama and serves the Chiriquí Province.

References
Alae Supra Canalem page 20 (map)

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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