Mexican family preparing to cross the border in order to work on farms in the USA, as part of the Bracero Program in 1944. The program was put in place as the US was struggling with labor shortages during World War 2, and lasted for almost two decades after the war ended.
Although Mexico was not initially involved in WW2, the country had tightened relations with the USA in wake of Manuel Ávila Camacho’s presidential appointment in 1940, and cut all relations with the Axis Powers following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Mexico officially entered the war on 22 May 1942, after German U-boats torpedoed two of its oil tankers. Although the population was mostly indifferent or against the war, Mexico went on to provide significant contributions to the Allied effort through resources, workforce and military personnel, as well as influencing other Latin American countries. The Aztec Eagles, Mexico’s elite air squadron, flew dozens of missions alongside the US Air Force during the liberation of the Philippines in 1945.
Mexico and Brazil were the only Latin American nations that sent troops to fight overseas in the Second World War.
Book suggestions ⤵️
📖 Mexicans at War: Mexican Military Aviation in the Second World War 1941-1945 (Santiago A. Flores, 2018)
📖 201st Squadron: The Aztec Eagles: The History of the Mexican Pilots Who Fought in World War II (Gustavo Vázquez-Lozano, 2019)