The three planes displayed at the west side of the airport have a history as told by the plaques. In part, it says that these planes are in recognition of the heroic participation of the Mexican Expeditionary Force 201st Fighter Squadron also known as the “Aztec Eagles”, in combat missions during World War II in defense of World Freedom and the Honor of Mexico.
These men were battling in fighter planes P-47 “Thunderbolt” against Japanese Imperial Army Forces for the liberation of the Philippines and were attached to the 58th American Fighter Group of the 5th Fighting Command of the Air Force of North America in 1945.”
If you stop to look, be sure to note the emblem on the tail of the planes. It’s the same emblem that was on the planes when they fought in the Philippine Islands: “Pancho Pistolas”. There is a photo of that emblem in the newsletter online.
If you are interested in finding out more, go to the search engine “Google”, and search for “Aztec Eagles”. I found some fascinating information and even video.
From what I have read, when German submarines torpedoed and sank Mexican oil tankers in the Gulf of Mexico, May 1942, the USA and Mexico formed an alliance. Mexico declared war on the Axis powers and in 1944 sent its new fighter Squadron 201 to train in Texas under women instructors W.A.S.P.
This marked the first time Mexican troops were trained for overseas combat. The Aztec Eagles flew a total of 59 combat missions, participated in the Allied effort to bomb Luzon and Formosa and these pilots were decorated by both the U.S. and Mexico.