World War II was a turning point for the world. The U.S. realized its potential as an
industrialized nation and the world recognized that international alliances were essential for the
progress of humanity. Two nations that experienced this at a closer level were the United States
and México. By 1940, events in Europe ensured U.S. involvement in World War II. In spite of
stated policies of neutrality, México too realized that collaboration with the United States was
unavoidable; México was forced to declare war on the Axis in May 1942.
The 1930s proved to be years of crisis for many countries. The United States as well as
many Latin American countries faced a threatening economic depression and the possibility of
war. By the end of the decade, events in Europe such as Germany’s invasion of Poland almost
ensured U.S. involvement in World War II. Alliances and not simple imperialistic relationships
were eminent for the United States. With the threat of Axis influence over Latin America, the
United States secured its relationship with México early in the 1940s.
Changes in Mexican politics and presidential ideologies promoted more cooperation with
the United States. Under the leadership of President Camacho (1940-1946), México was also
able to define its position in the war and broaden its relationship with the United States. Ill
sentiments left by President Cárdenas’ nationalistic policies were set aside, the U.S. now saw
México as an essential trading partner and ally. This relationship culminated in the formation of
the Mexican Fighter Squadron 201, or as it is recognized by many, Escuadrón 201.
This essay shows the bilateral collaboration between the United States and México during
World War II and pays particular attention to the formation of the Mexican Fighter Squadron
201 or as recognized by many, el Escuadrón 201. The information presented is supported by an
interview of squadron veteran, Reynaldo Pérez Gallardo. Subsequently, the essay incorporates a