Wallace Air Station
History and Background
Wallace Air Station occupied 101 hectares of base land located in the Philippine province of La Union and was acquired in 1903 for the United States Cavalry. Originally, Camp Wallace, the facility was named in honor of Second Lieutenant George W. Wallace, a Medal of Honor recipient from the U.S. 9th Infantry Regiment who was killed in action on 4 March 1900 in the Philippines. In November 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order establishing Camp Wallace and Camp John Hay in Baguio City.
848th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron
While the land was originally purchased for use by the United States Cavalry, it was later transferred to the United States Air Force and it was last home to the 848th Air Defense Squadron, which provided logistics and administrative support to other radar detachments The 848th was originally the home 848th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron which provided logistics and administrative support to other radar detachments under its chain of command, and was redesignated as the 848th Air Defense Squadron on 22 November 1989. Wallace Air Station and the squadron were inactivated in 1991 following the closing or transfer of all American Department of Defense facilities in the Philippines.
Wallace Drone Launch Facility
Wallace was also home to a Drone Launch Facility, which was run by an Air Force contractor. This facility and 1st Test Squadron "COMBAT SAGE" program, provided Pacific Air Forces pilots with live-fire training. Since the drones were not usually destroyed when they are shot down, there was a need to recover them for reuse. Hence, helicopters manned by PJs from HH-3E 31st Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron from Clark AB and a drone recovery boat(1604) with its home port in the local harbor at nearby San Fernando were always on hand to recover the drones.
During each launch, numerous "banca boats" (outrigger bamboo canoes), were close by and always in the chase to recover the JATO bottle dropped by the drone after takeoff. They are worth a few pesos paid by the contractor.
Wallace Air Station was also home to a number of fuel storage facilities, and was able to provide fuel for the occasional helicopter, usually a few CH-3s from the Clark Air Base, or an occasional United States Navy helicopter from the Subic Bay Naval Base. UH-1 helicopters from the Philippine Air Force would also show up, but not too often, since there as there was not enough budget for operating them. For larger aircraft such as C-12s or C-130s, the USAF would always use the San Fernando Airport.
Transfer to the Philippines
The facility was formally turned-over by the United States to the Republic of the Philippines on 16 September 1991. At present, the Bases Conversion Development Authority is converting this area into a tourism and industrial estate.