Pre-WWII PanCanal Defense Force

Maneuver Photos 1933, 37 & 40

Courtesy George Chevalier


Every year in the dry season the PCD Forces would engage in war games. Sometimes within regiments, then between regiments and every now and the between Pacific and Atlantic Departments. The sabanas of Pacora or Chorrera were the sites for large scale maneuvering while the jungle areas of old Culebra and Camp Gaillard gave a more jungle approach to the games. Famous were the battles between the 33rd Inf. and the 11th Combat Engineers out in the Pacora area. According to the late Tony Mallagutti, a former CZ Policeman, who was a member of the 33rd Infantry, they infiltrated the enemy camp at night and threw firecrackers into the tent of the enemy commander. Civilians did not get to see much of these games due to their location but did get to enjoy the excitement of night time Air Corps bombing raids on Albrook Field with the skies filled with searchlights and flares. Beer Vendors would enter the camps at the end of a hot dusty day to provide those large quart bottles of cold beer which would have been Atlas, Balboa or Milwaukee.

The battlefield at Pacora, 33rd Inf. VS 11th combat Engineers 1933

Mobile Depot at Chepo supporting the games at Pacora, 1933

Troops returning to camp at Pacora,1933

11th Combat Engineers doing their thing at Pacora ,1933

The popsickle vendor competing with the beer man in camp at Pacora,1933

33rd Inf. with after the battle beer, Pacora 1933

33rd Inf. group with after the battle beer, Pacora 1933

33rd Inf. KPs on maneuvers in the old Camp Gaillard area on the west

bank in 1937

2nd Field Artillery with their 75mm Pack Howitzers in old Camp Gaillard

area ,1937

Co.I, 33rd Inf. in the Gaillard maneuver area 1937

4th Coast Artillery maneuvering in west bank jungle in 1930's

4th Coast Artillery in west bank jungle, 1930's

4th Coast Artillery in west bank jungle in the 1930's

4th Coast Artillery enjoying camp showers while on exercise, 1930's

33rd Inf. at Camp Chorrera in 1940

33rd Inf. Co.E enjoying a beer break at Camp Chorrera in 1940

33rd Inf. at Camp Chorrera in 1940. The "First Shirt " is supervising

the washing of mess kits