Nielsen Field Manila, Philippines: The Forgotten Airfield of WWII

Dec. 10, 2015 – The Fifth Year

If you look at Ayala Ave. – Makati Ave. and Buendia Ave. these three roads form a triangle similar to an airfield. It was the old Nielsen Field. (See Photo)

It was Joseph McMicking’s idea to develop Makati as the new financial center of the Philippines. Yet not a tiny street, park or even a building was named after Joseph McMicking and Roy Hall.

Neither was there anything named after Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

The Old Nielsen Field. It was Joseph McMicking’s idea to relocate Manila’s financial district to Makati in the old Nielsen Field. What I read was:

“Just before noon on Jan. 20, 1945 Japanese soldiers came to there house. SOMEBODY MAY HAVE REPORTED THEM OR IT MAY SIMPLY HAVE BEEN A RANDOM SWEEP. (Seriously? Ayala-Zobel’s cousin Manuel A. Roxas was working with the Japanese Occupation Army at that time!)

Lt. Col. Joseph R. McMicking’s brother Alfred McMicking sisters Consuelo M. Hall, Helen McMicking, Helen’s fiance Carlos Perez-Rubio, Consuelo Hall’s children Rod and Ian & Marita Lopez Mena a family friend then staying with the McMicking-Hall families were taken to the Masonic Temple at Taft Ave. then the Headquarters of the dreaded Kempeitai. Later the children and the servants were released.

For ten days the Hall kids and servants brought pots of hot food to the prisoners. Then on or about 30 Jan. 1945, the guards told Rod & Ian Hall to stop coming – the food was no longer needed.”

Below is a better map of Nielsen Air Field and Nichols Air Field during the Battle For Manila. 1945. Changing names and use of land won’t change the past. Why are there so many streets and avenues named “Ayala” & “Roxas” but Lt. Col. Joseph McMicking and the Hall family were practically left out?

Battle for Manila  - Map of Nielson & Nichols Air Fields

McMicking guiding light in the development of Makati,his mom, grandma & aunt assassinated p152-153

McMicking & Hall families may have been reported or caught in a random sweep. p.74-75 Manuel A. Roxas (photo below with Japanese officer Col. Jimbo) had ten (10) days to intervene on behalf of the Hall-McMicking Families held by the Japanese Marines at the Kempeitai HQ. He never lifted a finger to save them. Then after the war, his cousin Jaime Zobel de Ayala took over the plans, brainchild of Lt. Col. Joseph McMicking.  As if to cover-up the crime, no street or park was named after any of the McMickings and Halls family. 

Oligarch-Traitor Exposed - It was US Sec. of Interior Harold Ickes who questioned Manuel Roxas’ war record in an editorial published on July 22, 1946.
Oligarch-Traitor Exposed – It was US Sec. of Interior Harold Ickes who questioned Manuel Roxas’ war record in an editorial published on July 22, 1946.

During the occupation, Filipinos cheated, stole to survive. MURDER was common. Book -' In Our Image' p.333

WWII - Alaistair Hall & his children Manila, Feb. 1945

Alistair Hall and his children after the “liberation” of Manila. Rod Hall would later write that after his mother Consuelo, grandmother, uncle Alfred Lt. Col. Joseph R. McMicking’s brother, aunt Helen McMicking, Helen’s fiance Carlos Perez-Rubio & Marita Lopez Mena a family friend were taken to the Masonic Temple at Taft Ave., a group of bandits entered and took over the house, searching for valuables. 

“A Spanish friend of my mother’s, married to a German, complained to Japanese Army headquarters, and so we found ourselves for some days having two Japanese army sentries patrolling our home each evening, while the Japanese marines were holding our family!” – Rod Hall, then 9 yrs.

So the Ayalas, Zobels & Sorianos who were Spaniards and all related to Manuel A. Roxas, had some clout since Spain was friendly to Germany, Japan & Italy, the Axis Powers. 

Nielson Field 1940Nielsen Air Field / Manila International Airport Tower, 1940.

Old Nielson Airfield 1941

Built by the Americans before the war, the Nielsen airfield had two intersecting runways, the main runway NW/SE and a smaller runway running NE to SW, with taxiways that connected both, plus dispersal areas in the surrounding area. Prewar, used by American Far Eastern Aviation and Philippine Air Lines (PAL). 

Nielsen Field 1942

When the threat of war loomed, Nielson was take over by the FEAF (Far East Air Force) and enlarged with hangers, workshops and facilities. FEAF’s Manila Air Depot where new aircraft were assembled and equipment stored.

American B-24's Liberator bombing Nielsen Field 1945   American Consolidated B-24 “Liberator” bombing Nielsen Field 1945.

Nielsen Airdrome

Nielsen Airdrome in 1945 back under U.S. control. Had the Philippines remained a U.S. Territory, Nielsen Field and Nichols Field would have been American Battlefield Monuments like the rest of the entire Philippines. 

Nichols Airfield & Nielsen Airfield

Nichols Airdrome & Nielsen Airdrome 

Nielsen Field (Ayala Triangle) & Nichols Field

Compare the size of Nielsen Field (Ayala-Puyat-Makati Triangle) with Nichols Field (Villamor Air Field).  

 Nichols Field USAAF in 1945

Nichols Field, USAAF in 1945


Nichols Airfield now part of Terminal 4 Nichols Field later renamed Villamor Air base then became the NAIA Terminal 4

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