The war ended with the surrender of Japan on August 10, 1945. Mr. Gallardo distinctly
remembers the end of the war.
“We were watching a movie when it was abruptly suspended by an officer. With great
emotion the officer told us that the most modern bomb in existence had been dropped on the
Japanese Empire for the second time today and they [the Japanese] are asking to be allowed to
surrender. We couldn’t believe it,” he recalls.44
After a year of training and six months of active duty, el Escuadrón 201 (Squadron 201)
was able to return home. Although the men were advised to proceed with caution, they knew
that they would soon return home. Before returning to México, and with the help of Consul
Alfredo Carmelo, the men of the squadron found resources to build a monument in honor of the
seven members of their group killed.45
México greeted them with a hero’s welcome on November 18, 1945. They paraded down
Madero Avenue and met with President Camacho at the Zocalo, México’s national palace.46
“México City, all of México City, which is very big, was standing along the streets,” he
“They were excited and anxious to see us. They were proud and happy to see us return.
We felt very proud.”47
Twenty men of the Mexican Fighter Squadron 201 received U.S. Air Medals as well as
the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation in 1952. Other medals awarded were the Mexican
Medal of Valor and World War II Victory medals.48
42 43 46 47 48
Pérez Gallardo, interview. Pérez Gallardo, interview. México’s Squadron/ KMBH-TV 60; produced, directed and written by Rick Leal. Pérez Gallardo, interview. Tudor, “Flight of Eagles: The Mexican expeditionary Air Force”, 288.