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Philippine F8 Crusaders



The F-8s were grounded in 1988 and were finally withdrawn from service in 1991 after they were badly damaged by the Mount Pinatubo eruption and have since been offered for sale as scrap.
I think an F-8 would look good in my backyard...


I remember when the Joe's were coming through NAS DALLAS -- they were checking out and fam-flighting at Vought on the opposite side of the field from the Navy. We bumped into them at the O'Club on occasion and they were like a bunch of high school kids, only with better attitudes. Real tigers with can-do attitudes.

The original intent was for the Filipinos to have some relatively long(er) range fighters that could "reach out and touch someone" from the PI airbases to Scarborough Shoals -- approx 130 or so miles west of CUBI. The F-4 was determined to be too complex and expensive to maintain,plus the concept of an NFO/RIO escaped the PI Airforce.

Both the Joe's and the CHICOMS had claimed the Shoals and it was suspected that OIL :eek: was present and waiting for anyone who would come and take it. They had been butting heads with each other on a low-level basis for a couple of years using a small naval effort and the CHICOMS had generally been getting the better of the deal. Thus, extra "muscle" was desired to back up the Filipino Navy, and the idea for it to come in the form of F-8 Crusaders was thought to be just the ticket.

Personally -- I was hoping to see some Jet-Jock-
Joe make a rooftop level knife-edge pass down the main street of Olongapo .... *sigh* .... if only. :)


Yeah, it's interesting how the whole thing ended, if you want to follow all the twists & turns ...

The F-8's were originally based at the F-5 bases of Villamor (Manila) and Basa up in Papangas Province, which is also where CLARK AFB has resided for the past 90 years or so. The Philippines were still kinda "flush" with the Vietnam afterglow of USA dollars and their Air Force was the pride of the PI military. Basa was referred to as "Fightertown Phillippines" .... in partial acknowledgment of that, I can say they were pretty good, too ... we worked "against" their F-5's on occasion, and they handled themselves well in general. What they might have lacked in equipment and/or skills, the tried to make up for in spirit.

I think they always coveted CLARK -- hell, I know it --- and the F-8's were moved there ASAP after the MBA agreement was revised in the late '70's .... and then in 1986 the Air Force was at the military center of the Cory Aquino "People Power" revolt which put them on the "official" military hierarchy shit-list, and semi-permanently at that ..... Plus, the US dollars were now drying up, 15+ years post-Vietnam ... then came Pinatubo which effectively nuked much of the western half of Luzon, thus putting the nail in the coffin of the Filipino CLARK Crusaders.

Oversimplified, to be sure .... but that's the long and short of it.


Keep your knots up.
Super Moderator
Some good history there, A4s. Thanks.

I never tangled with the PI F-8's, but heard they were pretty good. (Hell, anybody who could fly an F-8 and not crash was above average.)

When I finally got orders to a flying machine that actually had a gun, I took out years of pent-up frustration pumping 20mm into those same Scarborough Shoals. :D

JT Eagle

Registered User
The "RF-8s" that you see in the movie '13 Days' are some of the PAF aircraft painted up to depict aircraft used in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The mountain in the background is the giveaway that it's not Key West, but otherwise they did quite a good job.