The Jeepney and the Marsden Mat — World War II Legacies in Iloilo

The Jeepney and the Marsden Mat — Earth War II Legacies in Iloilo

By 1943, the wartime American industrial powerhouse was churning out unbelievable quantities of war material in planning for the invasion of Japan, a lot of it stockpiled in the Philippines. When the war ended a lot of this stockpiled substance was unneeded.  Some was dumped in the ocean, but much was recycled by Filipinos, offering us the legendary jeepney.  I’m not certain if there are any jeepneys in Iloilo City nevertheless based on WW II jeeps, but  almost seventy a long time after the stop of the war,MARSDEN MATTING  is still witnessed just about all over the place in Iloilo.

Marston Mat

Laying Marsden matting


Marsden matting landing strip – Papua, New Guinea

“Marsden Matting was thoroughly made use of during Earth War II by Seabees (Construction Battalions – CB’s) and other entrance line development personnel to construct runways and other quickly usable surfaces in excess of all forms of terrain in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.

On Pacific islands the matting was usually coated with crushed and rolled coral or soil to form a stage surface area. The perforated and channelled style of the matting established power and rigidity and facilitated drainage. A runway two hundred ft (60 metres) extensive and 5,000 toes (1500 metres) very long could be developed within just two times by a tiny team of engineers. (that is about 79,000 sheets of Marsden matting, weighing 2,370 tonnes.”

For the reason that Marsden matting was manufactured  from metal with a high manganese content, the matting was also hugely resistant to corrosion.  Compare the seventy year outdated Marsden matting fences of Iloilo with the fast corroding steelwork in other places.


Marsdon matting stockpiled

Marsden matting along General Luna Street

Marsden matting together Typical Luna Avenue

Marsden matting, General Luna Street

Marsden matting, Normal Luna Road

So, future time you see one of fences in Iloilo Metropolis produced of leftover Marsden matting, you’ll see it with a new appreciation!  More info at