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Mexico's Air force in WW2 the Aztec Eagle's

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FreeFOXMIKE #1 Posted 04 December 2015 - 11:45 AM

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by E. Alfonso Velasco Jr


Mexico declared war on the Axis powers after the sinking of two Mexican oil-tankers (Potrero de Llano and Faja de Oro) by German U-boats in May, 1942. 

The USA and Mexico had had an agreement in place for unlimited reciprocal use of airfields and facilities since April 1941 and after Mexico had declared war the USAAF established a number of training bases in Mexico to train personnel. Basic pilot training was done at Guadalajara after which the students moved to USAAF schools for advanced training. 

By July 1944 enough Mexicans had been trained to form three squadrons. One of these, Expeditionary Squadron 201, had finished training and was commissioned for active service in February 1945. Arriving in the Philippines in March, it commenced operations as a part of the Fifth Air Corps USAAF flying Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. 

One of the airmen of that unit happened to be my uncle, Justino Reyes Retana.

The squadron flew with the 58th Fighter Group the rest of the month on support missions, often two per day helping the 25th Division in its break-through from Balete pass and Marikina Watershed area into the Cagayan Valley. It continued to operate against Japanese forces in the Philippines, and later over Formosa, until the end of the war. The Squadron was commended by General McArthur, and because it was a highly visible example of Mexico's war effort, it received a hero's welcome when the personnel returned home in November 1945.

Missions completed by the 201st Mexican Fighter Squadron:

  • 53 ground support missions flown in support of American troops in Luzon from 4 June to 4 July 1945,
  • 37 training missions from 14-21 July 1945 (including missions of transporting new aircraft from Biak Island, New Guinea),
  • 4 fighter sweeps to the island of Formosa, 6-9 July 1945,
  • 1 dive bombing mission against the Port of Karenko, Formosa, 8 August1945,
  • 1 convoy escort mission in the Sea North of the Philippines, 26 August 1945.


Combat record of Escuadron Aereo de Pelea 201, Fuerza Aerea Expedicionaria Mexicana

Combat Missions flown


Offensive Sorties flown


Defensive Sorties flown



Hours flown in Combat


Hours flown in the Combat Zone


Hours flown in Pre-Combat


Average hours flown per pilot


Total hours flown



Bombs dropped 1000 lb


Bombs dropped 500 lb


Total rounds of 0.50 cal used

 166,922 rds. 


Aircraft lost in combat


Aircraft damaged in combat



Pilots killed in combat


Pilots killed in accidents


Pilots missing






201st Fighter Squadron (Mexico)

The 201st Fighter Squadron (SpanishEscuadrón Aéreo de Pelea 201) was a Mexican fighter squadron, part of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force that aided the Allied war effort during World War II. The squadron was known by the nickname Aguilas Aztecas or "Aztec Eagles", apparently coined by members of the squadron during training.[1]

The squadron was attached to the 58th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during the liberation of the main Philippine island of Luzon in the summer of 1945. The pilots flew Republic P-47D-30-RA Thunderbolt single-seat fighter aircraft carrying out tactical air support missions.

The Mexico City Metro Line 8 station Metro Escuadrón 201 is named after the squadron, whilst it was also the subject of the Mexican film Escuadrón 201, directed by Jaime Salvador and released in 1945. In November 22, 2004, the squadron was awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor, with a rank of Legionnaire, by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.[2] The unit is still active at present, flying the Pilatus PC-7


Squadron pilots

Carlos Garduño Núñez Radamés Gaxiola Andrade Julio Cal y Mayor Sauz
Graco Ramírez Garrido Amador Sámano Piña David Cerón Bedolla
Fernando Hernández Vega José Luis Pratt Ramos Audberto Gutierrez Ramires
Carlos Varela Landini Joaquín Ramírez Vilchis Justino Reyes Retana
Ángel Sánchez Rebollo Carlos Rodríguez Corona Manuel Farías Rodríguez
Miguel Moreno Arreola Roberto Legorreta Sicilia Reynaldo Pérez Gallardo
Praxedis López Ramos Jacobo Estrada Luna José Barbosa Cerda
Raúl García Mercado Pedro Matinez Pérez Roberto Urías Aveleyra Guillermo García Ramos
Miguel Uriarte Aguilar Jaime Zenizo Rojas Crisóforo Salido Grijalva**
Héctor Espinoza Galván* José Espinoza Fuentes* Fausto Vega Santander*
Mario López Portillo* Mamerto Albarrán Nágera* Javier Martínez Valle*** Jose Gutierrez Gallegos









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Edited by FreeFOXMIKE, 23 October 2016 - 10:03 AM.

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