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Roosevelt’s proposal on March 14, 1944. President Roosevelt agreed to accept the participation

of one or two Mexican air squadrons.24

Mr. Gallardo proudly explained how much the squadron’s participation in the war meant

for México. He explains, “Throughout history, Mexicans have failed to provide encouragement

for their own. For them to hear that the United States gave us merit for our work brought a lot of

pride to them, we felt very proud.”25

He says, “The intention was to form a fighter group, four squadrons.” “But they

organized the first one and that’s the one I joined…to receive training in the United States.”26

Measures for the development of the Mexican Fighter Squadron 201 were soon taken by

both nations. After meetings between President Camacho and U.S. Deputy Chief of Air Staff,

General William E. Hall, and Mexican Air Force Chief, General Salinas, specifications for the

participation of the squadron were established. The Mexican Fighter Squadron 201 would

receive training in an American air base for a minimum of five months. After completing

training on the P-47 fighter plane, they would be given a war assignment.27

México’s National Defense Secretary and family members held a modest going away

ceremony for the young men in México City. They left México by train and arrived in Nuevo

Laredo, Tamaulipas, México, on July 25, 1944. They received a warm welcome from the people

of Nuevo Laredo and were cheered as they marched through the town. However, across the

border in Laredo, Texas, the squadron received little attention.

24 25 26 27

Tudor, “Flight of Eagles: The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force”, 41-42 KMVA: Cotorreando, hosted by Ricardo Garza, Dec. 2, 1999. Pérez Gallardo, interview. Tudor, “Flight of Eagles: The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force”, 43.

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