Few would list Mexico as an ally of the US during the Second World War. Mexico’s aid to the US has been largely ignored by historians and is mostly absent from American history books. When Mexican aviators had the opportunity to show their courage in battle, they did so with valour. General Douglas MacArthur commended the pilots and 150 support personnel. The thirty-one pilots of Mexican Expeditionary Force 201st Fighter Squadron flew missions supporting troops in the Philippines and sorties over Formosa.
The Aztec Eagles helped the Allies defeat Japan, end the isolationism of Mexico and paved the way for important agreements between the United States and Mexico. They helped modernise the Mexican Air Force and demonstrated that Mexico could mount a successful expeditionary force. Significant as these achievements were, perhaps the unit’s most important legacy is that the Aztec Eagles fought for dignity, creating pride throughout their homeland. Illustrated throughout.