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of Italian, German, and Japanese diplomats. The United States and México signed a series of

agreements in 1941 and 1942, which would be essential for the war effort.

Agreements such as the Douglas-Weichers agreement of 1941 mandated that México sell

important raw material to the United States.14 The Lend-lease program was signed on March 28,

1942. This settlement allowed the United States to ship war supplies to México. These supplies

would later provide equipment for the Mexican Fighter Squadron 201.15

Other 1942 agreements allowed the conscription of Mexican citizens living in the United

States. Signed in December 1942, these agreements drafted more than 250,000 Mexican

citizens.16 The Bracero Program brought approximately 250,000 Mexican laborers to work the

fields and railways in order to alleviate America’s manual labor shortage.17 This agreement had

specified terms that included benefits such as free transportation for workers, set wages (.46 per

hour), and routine inspections by Mexican officials.18 This first Bracero Program ended in

December 1947.19

This little-known squadron was made up of 300 Mexican volunteers, including 38

experienced pilots such as Mr. Pérez Gallardo, who fought the Japanese in the Philippines. As

the son of a Mexican Army general, and an aficionado of airplanes since childhood, Reynaldo

Pérez Gallardo was a perfect candidate to join México’s Fighter Squadron 201, the only combat

unit from that country to be trained for overseas combat and actively participate in World War II.

Born and raised in San Luis Potosí, (his father was governor of the State of San

14 Barbara Driscoll, The Tracks North: The Railroad Bracero Program (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999), 36. Tudor, “Flight of Eagles: The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force”, 19. Niblo, War, Diplomacy, and Development: The United States and México 1938-1954, 98. Himilce Novas, Everything You Need to Know About Latino History (New York: Penguin Books Inc.,1998), 97- 99. Michael C. Meyer, William L. Sherman, and Susan M. Deeds, The Course of Mexican History, 611. Himilce Novas, Everything You Need to Know About Latino History, 97-99. 15 16 17 18 19

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