WHEREAS, El Escuadron 201 (also known as “The Aztec Eagles”) was a Mexican Fighter Squadron, part of the Fuerza Aerea Expedicionaria Mexicana (FAEM-Mexican Expeditionary Air Force”) that aided the Allied war effort during WW II; and

WHEREAS, the Aztec Eagles were attached to the 58th Fighter Group of the United States Army Forces during the liberation of the main Philippine Island of Luzon in the summer of 1945; and

WHEREAS, the pilots flew P-47D “Thunderbolt” single-seat fighter aircraft carrying out tactical air support missions; and

WHEREAS, Escuadron 201 was composed of more than 200 volunteers-36 experienced pilots and the rest ground crews who trained at Majors Field in Greenville, Texas on November 30, 1944 for advanced training in combat air tactics, formation flying and gunnery; and

WHEREAS, in June 1945, the squadron initially flew missions with the 58th FG’s 310 Fighter Squadron and flew more than 90 combat missions, totaling more than 1,900 hours of flight time. They participated in the Allied effort to bomb Luzon and Formosa to push the Japanese out of those islands. During their fighting in the Philippines, 5 pilots died (one was shot down, one crashed and three ran out of fuel and died at sea); and

WHEREAS, when the 58th Fighter Group left the Philippines for Okinawa on July 10, the Mexicans stayed behind. They flew their last combat missions as a full squadron on August 26, escorting a convoy north of the Philippines. The 201st returned to Mexico City in November 1945; and

WHEREAS, the 201st Fighter Squadron was commended by General Douglas MacArthur,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the United States of America and the Legislature honor Escuadron 201 by awarding the fighter group the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the federal legislature. The Congressional Gold Medal, equivalent to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is awarded to individuals or groups for singular acts of exceptional service and lifetime achievements,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, awarding such a prestigious medal will instill pride in the members of Escuadron 201 and give proper recognition by the United States to the Mexican pilots and their ground crews for their contribution and their losses in defending the United States in WWII in the Philippines in 1945.

Approved this 14th day of July 2007.

Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President

LULAC  l  2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610  l  Washington, DC 20036  l  (202) 833-6130  Fax: (202) 833-6135