César Fernándo Basa
Lt. César Basa
|Died||December 12, 1941 (aged 25–26)|
Batangas, Commonwealth of the Philippines
United States of America
|Service/||Philippine Army Air Corps|
|Years of service||1941|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
o Battle of the Philippines
César Fernándo Basa (1915 - December 12, 1941) was a Filipino aircraft pilot and World War II hero. Born in 1915, he was one of the pioneer fighter pilots of the Philippine Air Force and the first Filipino fighter pilot casualty during World War II.
Several dogfights ensued as Villamor and his men fought desperately to prevent the pack of bombers and their fighter escorts from reaching and bombing Batangas Field.
Lieutenant Basa, who was already two hours airborne on an air-reconnaissance mission, rushed to the scene and attempted to join the aerial engagement with only 15 minutes' worth of fuel left on his P-26. While still half the distance away, he was intercepted by seven Japanese fighters and shot down. Although he was able to bail out, he was strafed and killed by machine-gun fire from the A6M Zero fighters while dangling helplessly from his parachute. This made him the first Filipino fighter-pilot casualty of war killed in air combat.