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    San Roque Airfield (Moret Field) Zamboanga Province | Mindanao Philippines
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c1945

Location
Located inland to the northwest of Zamboanga. Also known as "Moret Field" or "Zamboanga Airfield".

Wartime History
Occupied by the Japanese and used to stage aircraft to an from airfields on Borneo. During 1944 until March 1945, used by the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) and Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) for harassing attacks against Allied forces in the vicinity, including Ki-43 Oscars of the 1st Sentai.

American missions against San Roque
October 30, 1944 - March 16, 1945

On March 11, 1945 liberated by the US Army 41st Infantry Division, 163rd Infantry Regiment. Immediately, the airfield was repaired, improved and expanded by the Americans using Filipino laborers.

Captured at the airfield was the wreckage of at least three G4M Betty Tail 761-22, G4M Betty Tail -386 and G4M Betty. Also, Ki-43 Oscar Tail -35 tail section.

Naming Honors
San Roque Airfield was officially named "Moret Field" after Lt. Col. Paul Moret, USMC pilot, who was killed in an airplane crash at New Caledonia during 1943.

A sign was erected at the base reading "They have no tails in Zamboanga"and the tail section of an abandoned 1st Sentai Ki-43 Oscar Tail " -35". This tail section was extensively photographed by Americans

American units based at San Roque Airfield (Moret Field)
95th AAF Weather Station
USMC 1st Marine Aircraft Wing
HQ Squadron 32
Service Squadron 32
VMSB 142
VMSB 243
VMSB 236
VMSB 341
VBM-611 (PBJ) March 30, 1945 - ?

Today
Still in use today as Zamboanga International Airport, airport code ZAM. To the north of the airport is Edwin Andrews Air Base.

Reference
Thanks to Tony Feredo for additional information
NARA "Men work at Moret Field, Zamboanga in Philippines during World war II" July 1945 includes color footage of this tail section and sign

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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