The School the Aztec Eagles Built

By Booklist

During WWII, Mexico supported the Allies, contributing a group of top fighter pilots and their support crew to the cause. Known as the Aztec Eagles, this squadron trained in the U.S. and was deployed to the Philippines, where they flew missions during the war’s final days. Nicholson recounts the group’s history, placing special emphasis on Sergeant Ángel Bocanegra, a crew member and former teacher who convinced Mexican President Camacho to build a school in his village as thanks for the group’s service. The text reads smoothly, providing sufficient background for the intended audience, and includes many interesting details (the bracero program, for example, encouraged Mexicans to enter the U.S. for work during the war). Numerous well-chosen period photos add clarity to the narrative and help to break up the text. Generous back matter (including a list of sources, many of them primary) is also included. This tribute to Mexico’s war efforts complements other narratives of groups and individual aviators who aided the cause.