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Now, a miscalculation by Germany provided the impetus to break the stalemate. Numerous submarine attacks on Mexican ships, coupled with a massive propaganda campaign launched by the U.S., British and French began to turn the tide of public opinion. Fearful that an invasion by either Germany or Japan would lead to a massive invasion by the U.S. and turn Mexico into a battleground, the Mexican government, albiet secretly, had permitted U.S. agents to enter the country to train Mexican counter-intelligence forces and to help secure both of Mexico's coasts against possible incursions by saboteurs. There is some evidence that Germany, Italy and Spain did maintain extensive spy networks and had planted saboteurs in the Federal Republic who were planning to take over Acapulco and launch attacks against aircraft factories in San Diego. Prompt action by the joint Mexican-U. S, counterintelligence forces nipped several such plots in the bud. The final straw was the sinking of a Mexican oil tanker, the Potero de Llano and in June 1942 Mexico declared war against the Axis
Did You read that?? Had Mexico not stepped up to the plate Our war machine wouldn't have been strong enough.
Mexican raw materials fueled over 40% of the U.S. war industries, a fact that historians have chosen to ignore. This in itself was a great contribution to the American and Allied war effort and merits acknowledgment.
However, only the already modernized Mexican Air Force was to actually engage in combat. Mexican pilots received additional training in the United States and in 1945 fought valiantly in the air war in the Phillipines. Only one squadron, Number 201, actually saw combat. Nicknamed "The Aztec Eagles," they flew P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and offered close ground support for U.S. and Philipino ground forces as they struggled to liberate the islands from the Japanese. Decorated by the United States, Mexico and the Phillipines, its 31 pilots and approximately 150 ground support personnel were the only Mexican military force to serve outside of Mexico. Of the squadron's 31 pilots, 5 were killed in action. Its personnel, both pilots and ground support elements certainly deserve to be regarded as heros by both Mexico and the United States. Also unrecognized, untold numbers of Mexicans, particularly those with relatives in the U.S., flocked across the border and served in all branches of the U.S. military. How many of them were killed is unknown. For those who chose to become U.S. citizens, citizenship was automatic. However, over the years, many returned to Mexico despite their new citizenship. Although the role of Mexicans in combat was minimal, the denial of Mexico as a safe harbor for German submarines was of great importance. Mexican oil also helped fuel the U.S. war machine. With over 6 million American men in the armed forces and thousands of women in the factories, Mexican agricultural workers kept the food chain moving and, as we have already noted, Mexican raw materials were vital to the war effort. The supply was secure from submarine attacks and did not tie up warships in convoy duty. Finally, although they depended on U.S. help to do so, the determination of the Mexican Government to resist the forces that might well have created either a Fascist or Communist Government next door to the U.S., removed the threat of sabotage or across-the-border forays that would, in essence, have necessitated either an American invasion of Mexico or the deployment of large forces to guard its southern border. Either one of these alternatives would have seriously hampered America's march to victory. We can only hope that the U.S. and the Allies will more publicly acknowledge Mexico's assistance during WW II. The Mexicans who shed their blood in the skies over the Philippines, as well as those who volunteered to fight for freedom under the Stars and Stripes deserve no less. Muchas Gracias, Mexicanos. We who know you, salute you.
Originally posted by jam321
First i have ever heard of it. I wonder if people in Mexico are even aware of this?
I will have to call some relatives this week to quiz them.
Hope this thread stays on topic, but i have a feeling it won't.
ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 21, 2003 – The more than 300 Mexicans who volunteered to help the United States kick the Japanese out of the Pacific islands during World War II are slowing passing on. Only 10 of them are still around.
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Only three of them -- two combat pilots and one ground crew member -- were well enough to travel here from Mexico to be honored for their contributions by the Defense Department on Oct. 16 and 17. They were former "Aztec Eagles" pilots, retired Mexican air force Col. Carlos Garduno and Capt. Miguel Moreno Arreola, and ground crewman former Capt. Manuel Cervantes Ramos.
We won the war, but we still want to be winning the peace that we've had since then. "So our sentiments were with the United States to save the freedom that we're still enjoying today," Garduno said.
Right-wing reaction was so vehement that just four days after declaring war Mexican President Avila Camacho was forced to parade together, on the balcony of the National Palace, all living ex-Presidents of Mexico. This extraordinary show of national solidarity was meant to cool not only over-heating public debate about Mexico´s war role, but also to assure an expectant but skeptical America of Mexico´s resolve to overcome internal dissent while accepting sizable international responsibilities.
Mexico quickly began fulfilling its wartime commitment to America by providing tens of thousands of agricultural contract workers, tanker-loads of oil and massive amounts of other crucial war materiel.