Monday, November 26, 2012

Jesus Villamor: Probably The Greatest Filipino Pilot

Jesus Villamor
The date was December 7, 1941. Hawaii woke up at the sound of death. For some reason, the Japanese decided to go Rambo on them. Carrying their Samurais, bayonets, and then state of the art fighter planes, they went on an all gangsta mission to totally annihilate the Americans. Body parts flew, red rain started pouring, and the air was filled with screams that could have easily passed as a sound effect on a Kevin Smith Slasher film. 

Americans were like, ‘mother fu…’ then died.

While Americans were running low on their wits, five Filipino pilots were chillin’ in their kitchen cutting up the tomatoes to go with their deep fried tinapa, garlic rice, and kapeng barako which they just scored from another Filipino soldier from Batangas. Okay, that breakfast part is fictional but the point is that there were five Filipino soldiers who were overflowing with awesomeness that they went to their commander and promptly reported for duty and said they can probably do something about the Japs.

These five were Capt. Jesus Villamor,  Lt. Geronimo Aclan, Lt. Godofredo Juliano, Lt. Jose Gozar, Lt. Manuel Conde, and Lt. Antonio Mondigo and it is important to note that they weren’t even in Pearl Harbor, they were in their base in Batangas.

Their commander, although desperate for help, was a little doubtful there was anything they could do. You see, the Japs were driving a Zero which was pretty much the Ferrari of Fighter Planes back then. All Captain Villamor and his men had was P-26 which is pretty much not even in the gaddam radar of cars. Their commander told them there are two sets of attackers and each set has about 57 planes.

“Aight,” Capt. Villamor said and motioned his men to go to their P26 swaggin’.

Their boss was shocked and felt he needed to clear it out a bit more. He ran after them and said there are 57 planes out there and Capt. Villamor let out a sigh of relief because he thought he said 157 the first time.

Each pilot climbed to their P26 rockin’ to the perpetually hip beach boys tune. Our boy Jesus got to about 5,000 feet which was pretty effin’ insane considering he was carrying a P26 plane. That plane is meant to compete with kites, not other fighter planes from a country with dough enough to buy the Philippines 1,943 times. Jesus didn’t seem to mind. He was diggn’ the altitude until he realized a Zero on his tail.

‘Shit,’ he said. “I’m gonna fu$%&n’ die.”

He went on a full on badass mode and turned every nob he could find in the plane, switched every switch and shook everything that moved. Nothin’ worked. He realized just then just how badass this Japanese really were and how effin’ stupid the plane he was flying. He thought a bit and realized that he can’t go higher. If he flies away, the Zero will be able to follow him like an effin’ shadow. He looked around and knew there was no other way but down.

And down he went.

He went full on Mission Impossible mode and did the most unthinkable stupid thing any brave and stupid guy could ever do, he dove. Yup! He effin’ dove the plane and flew tree level.
He knew those mother effers can own the sky but only a P26 can hang with the trees and power lines like it’s a gaddam highway.

He did it. He lost the Zero. So, he felt like it was safe to climb up again. Big gigantic mistake.
Another Zero was on his tail again.  The Zero was closing in so fast that he kinda felt it was okay to panic a little. He lost control causing the P effin’ 26 to drop and roll.  In the middle of his panic, he realized he cannot panic because it’s not accomplishing anything. He pulled whatever he had to pull so hard which allowed him to get some amount of control. The problem is that another Zero is approaching. It was approaching so fast that Jesus actually saw the Japanese pilot launching a celerity spell to allow him to move fast enough to avoid colliding with Jesus.

Jesus thought this is really stupid because their Zero had enough firepower to turn 10 P26 into powder. Their P26, on the other hand, didn’t have enough firepower to hit two Zeroes but had enough firepower to hit one so that’s what he did. He pulled the trigger. As expected, it wasn’t enough to annihilate that one Jap plane but it was enough to hit the fuel tank which caused the plane to burst into flame.

That was just one plane but considering he was practically fighting Voltest V with a butterfly knife and won, everyone sorta agreed it was okay for him to touch down and rest. That’s what he did.
The problem is that two days after that, 54 bombers with 18 escorts were spotted in Batangas, most likely to seek revenge against our homie Jesus because their pride couldn’t take the fact that a plane like the P26 with a Filipino pilot could take down one of theirs.

Jesus just didn’t have a choice. He called his wingman, Cesar Basa who, is the epitome of all great wingmen multiplied 435 times raised to the power of 549 in the awesomeness scale.

When their P26 was head to head with the Mitsubishi G3M or “Nell”, Jesus didn’t think twice. He knew he was fucked 7 ways to Sunday. He might as well try and take the other guy with him. He fired his .30 cals. What happened next is something that’s worthy to be the climax of the 7th instalment of Starwars complete with background music by the Chicago Orchestra – the Nell started going in flames and then explodes.

Some people call it luck, I call it badassery. 

The Japs didn’t let that one slip. In no time, the escorts were tailing them. Basa and Villamor tried every trick in the book and also managed to come up with their own tricks to fight the Japs. They were able to hold off the zeros but at the expense of Basa’s life. When Basa was hit, he knew he was too awesome to die like that. He had to make it count. Through a manoeuver that not even the brains of all stunt directors in Hollywood is capable of thinking, Basa made sure his exit is worthy of an Oscar Award, Noble Peace Prize, and Miss Universe trophy for the sheer coolness of it.

Basa effin’ engaged in an aerial combat.

In case it wasn't clear, let me say it again. Basa engaged in an aerial comba!

Why shoot each other with magnums and bazookas while your feet is flat on the ground or while your boat is swiftly floating on water when you can fu$%in’ take bullet while you are falling 100 miles per hour to the ground?

When Basa’s body was found, it was filled with bullets confirming that he was the first soldier to ever engage in an aerial com effin’ bat.

Douglas MacArthur, after hearing about the awesomeness couldn’t run fast enough to honor our Pilots. However, the prodigal foreigner later on realized there is no way he can lose any more of this men. He ordered the men to stop going balls out with the Japanese. They were to move their asses ONLY when they need to rescue someone.

Jesus didn’t have a choice but follow orders. They were later asked to move to Bataan and leave Batangas.

Aside from Villamor, other members of the team were pretty badass too. Our boy Aclan, for one, flew his plane so fast and was poised to ram it against Zero. Yup, he was prepared to kill himself if it meant bringing the opponent down with him. The problem is that the Jap on the other plane got so freakin’ scared, he few away.

Lt. Godofredo Juliano was also a great pilot himself, great enough for him to line up with a zero and hit it on the belly. However, his ammunition jammed which forced him to fly and take cover. 

Lt. Mondigo was gunned down but was able to eject on time. The Zeros saw it and lined up to machine gun him. Aclan and Juliano saw their boy and circled him until he landed safely. Unfortunately, local villagers thought he was a Jap and stabbed him to death. 

Today, many are disputing the authenticity of the story told in a book written by Villamor’s wife titled, They Never Surrendered. I’m not sure if this is just another act of crab mentality or if there is any concrete evidence out there that would prove the story is a fabrication.

But this much I know, Villamor is universally acknowledged as one of the best pilots that ever lived in this world. He flew a P26 to fight Zeros. The details of his heroism, I will leave with time to discover but anyone who actually fights despite all the disadvantages is badass.

Villamor and his men may just be the granddaddy of all badassery.


  1. That's not a Mitsubishi Zero, that's a model of a Ki-84 Frank...

  2. Jesus Villamor was and is the ultimate badass. My hero.

  3. I tried so hard to remember Villamor's name coz my mom said I was named after this brave pilot. It was only today, Dec. 21/20 that I remembered. Any family members? Pls get in touch with me.