“On the North American side, we felt ignored,” he said. “Few people attended, even if
only out of curiosity.”28
From registration at Randolph Field in San Antonio, they continued to Pocatello Army
Air Base in Pocatello, Idaho. The first weeks of training included instruction in armament,
intelligence, and communications, among other important sections. Pilots received special
training in air and combat tactics. These included fighter formation, low altitude gunnery, and
night flying. Pocatello was also the training site for America’s Women Airforce Service Pilots
(WASPS). The men of the squadron were astonished to see this group of skilled women pilots
perform air tactics on the P-47. The men also received English lessons provided by the women
of the WAC, the Women Army Corps. Spanish lessons were provided for the American
instructors in charge of the Mexican squadron. Measures were taken to accommodate the
Mexican soldiers in Pocatello. Pocatello Air Base theaters featured Spanish-language movies,
and the men were allowed to celebrate Mexican holidays.29
The men left Pocatello for Majors Field in Greenville, Texas, on November 27, 1944.
Bad weather forced officials to seek a warmer place to complete training. Majors Field in
Greenville, Texas, a 45-minute drive northeast of Dallas, was designated as the new training site.
The Mexican Fighter Squadron 201, many accompanied by their wives, faced strong biases from
the people of Greenville. Greenville, a town that has described itself as “The Blackest Land and
the Whitest People,” demonstrated their dislike for the squadron’s presence by not renting
apartments to the men’s wives.30 Sentiments towards the men changed after Captain Miller, the
officer in charge of the squadron’s training, clarified that these men came from good families.
28 29 28
Pérez Gallardo, interview. Tudor, “Flight of Eagles: The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force”, 15. Tudor, “Flight of Eagles: The Mexican Expeditionary Air Force”, 109-110.