US Army General Douglas MacArthur inspects damage to Stotsenburg Station Hospital

US Army General Douglas MacArthur inspects damage to Stotsenburg Station Hospital at Clark Field. The original 217-bed Post Hospital dated back to September 1903, and MacArthur's men had brought hundreds of casualties there in 1941-1942. Clark Field was in operation throughout the war, and many Japanese kamikazes were launched there. Occupied by the 30,000 Japanese soldiers of the Kembu Group, under the command Imperial Japanese Army Major General Rikichi Tsukada, fortified the area around Clark Field. The US Army's 37th and 40th Infantry Divisions attacked Clark Field on January 24, 1945. Within a week, Kembu Group lost all their heavy weapons and tanks, and the survivors took up harassing positions in the Zambales Mountains, where they would infiltrate into Clark Field and destroy aircraft and equipment in night raids. Exhausted, the 40th Division garrisoned Clark Field while the unit refit. XIV Corps had secured the Clark Field air center for the Allied Air Forces - construction work had already begun and the Fifth Air Force planes would soon be flying from repaired strips. Next, the corps, pushing the Kembu Group westward, had assured for itself the uninterrupted flow of supplies down Route 3 and the Manila Railroad, securing a line of communications along which future advances toward Manila could be supported. At the time of the photo, MacArthur was preoccupied by the emerging destruction of Manila and the massacre of Filipino civilians by surrounded Japanese Forces.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Friday, February 9, 1945
Clark Field