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Published on May 2, 2008
Thursday, 5/1 Mexico was no stranger to this world conflict; the axis powers sank several of our oil tankers such as Faja de Oro, Potrero de Llano, Tuxpan, Las Choapas, Oaxaca and Amatlán.
Mexico's message, then and now, was that if we are attacked we will respond and defend ourselves. Thus, on May 1, 1945, our glorious 201st Squadron of the Mexican Air Force, better known as the Aztec Eagles, disembarked in Manila, in the Philippines, to fight with the Allied Forces on the Pacific Front.
Members of the 201st Squadron served bravely in the liberation of the Philippine island of Luzón. This heroic Squadron engaged in 59 war missions, registering nearly two thousand flight hours in combat zones. Its last mission, undertaken on August 26, 1945, at the end of the Second World War as a result of the unconditional surrender of the Axis Powers, reflected the responsibility and participation of Mexico in these events.
Today we honor the heroes that belonged to it and the memory of those that lost their lives on this delicate mission. Captain Pablo Luis Rivas Martínez, Lieutenant José Espinosa Fuentes, Lieutenant Héctor Espinosa Galván, Second Lieutenant Fausto Vega Santander and Second Lieutenant Mario López Portillo.
As President of the Republic, it is an honor for me to lead the Commemorative Ceremony of the 201st Squadron of the Mexican Air Force for the first time ever.
Congratulations, long live the 201st Squadron and long live Mexico.