Cesar Basa was a pilot and hero of World War II. He was one of the pioneer fighter
pilots in the Philippine Air Force and was the first Filipino casualty during World
Cesar Basa's fight took place at Batangas Field on the morning of 12 December 1941
when fifty-four Japanese bombers and fighter escorts raided the base.
Five Filipino fighter pilots, led by Captain Jesus Villamor, engaged the enemy in
aerial combat at 12,000 feet. Lieutenant Basa arrived on the scene from an air patrol
mission with only 15 minutes of fuel left in his tanks but attempted to join his
comrades in the fight. Before reaching them, he was intercepted by seven Japanese
fighters and shot down.
Although he bailed out, he was strafed with machine-gun fire. Captain Villamor and
his fighters won the battle with the only casualty being Lieutenant Basa. In recognition
of his heroism, Lieutenant Basa was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.