Crusader with Philippines

Last revised January 22, 2000

Besides France, the only other nation to use the Crusader was the Philippines. In late 1977, the Philippines government purchased 35 ex-US Navy F-8Hs that had been sitting in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. 25 of them were to be refurbished by Vought and the remaining ten were to be replacement aircraft.

As part of the contract, Vought was also to train Philippine Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel. The two-seat TF-8A was to be used in support of the training effort, but it crashed on July 28, 1978.

The Filipino F-8Hs went to the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 5th fighter Wing stationed at Basa Air Base, Pampanga, in northern Luzon. This outfit had previously operated F-86F Sabrejets, which were by this time thoroughly obsolete. As part of their job in defending Philippine airspace, the F-8s of the 7th TFS intercepted many Soviet bombers which overflew the northwestern area of the island nation.

The corruption and mismanagement that characterized the later years of the Marcos regime was so bad that most of the Philippine Crusaders rapidly deteriorated and fell into disrepair, with very few actually being able to fly at any one time. During the confusion surrounding the departure of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, the flyable Crusaders were flown to Clark AFB to protect them from sabotage.

The surviving Philippine Crusaders were finally phased out on January 23, 1988. In nine years, the PAF F-8s had suffered five major accidents, losing two pilots.


  1. Vought F-8 Crusader, Peter Mersky, Osprey, 1981.

  2. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  3. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  4. Ray Wagner, American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Doubleday, 1982.