Liberation of the Philippines
by Santiago A. Flores
201st Mexican Fighter Squadron of the "Fuerza Aerea Expedicionaria Mexicana"
(Mexican Expeditionary Air Force or MEAF) has the honor of being the
only Mexican military unit that has seen combat outside Mexico. This Squadron
fought during the liberation of the Philippines, while assigned to the
58th Fighter Group, 5th Fighter Command, 5th Air Force. The MEAF arrived
in the Philippines in May 1945, under the command of Col. Antonio Cardenas
Rodriguez (1905-1969), with the Squadron 201 headed by 1st Cpt. Radames
Gaxiola Andrade (1915-1966).
201 flew its first combat missions in Support of American ground troops,
during the advance against Japanese forces in Northern Luzon, from June
to July 1945. The 201 flew various subtypes of the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt
fighter-bombers. These aircraft had been borrowed from the 58th Fighter
Group initially, and some other were 'veterans' from the 348th and 35th
Fighter Groups (Since they converted to the North American P-51D, leaving
the 58th as the only unit operating the P-47 in the 5th Air Force), but
later on, their own P-47s were delivered under the Lend-Lease program.
In July 1945, the 201 flew long range "Fighter Sweeps" from the
Philippines to the Island of Formosa (known as Taiwan today), and in August,
a dive-bombing mission over the Port of Karenko, Formosa.
lost two pilots while training in the United States (Texas 1944-1945);
five more were lost in the Pacific during training and ferrying missions;
one ground crew member died in a military hospital in the US due to illness
acquired in the Philippines and two more pilots, attached to the Replacement
Group in training in the United States (1945), also died.
September 1945, the MEAF was assigned to the 13th Air Force. With
the end of the war, it returned to Mexico by November 1945. After its return
the MEAF was disbanded by a Presidential Decree dated on December
1st, 1945, under which, the 201 Fighter Squadron was returned to the Mexican
Air Force's control. Later on, the squadron was re-equipped with a new
batch of Republic P-47D-35- RAs, since the aircraft used on the Philippines
were left on the islands after WWII.
Historical tradition of the MEAF is still carried by "Escuadron
Aereo de Pelea 201", as part of the "4/o. Grupo Aereo" (4th
Air Group), based at Cozumel, Quintana Roo, and operating the Pilatus PC-7
for COIN / CAS duties. This unit saw action again during the Chiapas Rebellion
of January 1994.
EXPERIENCES OF A PILOT
of the few Mexican pilots to leave a written account of his wartime experiences
was the former 1st Lt. Amador Samano Pina. Born in July of 1919 in Metepec,
State of Mexico. In 1,936 Samano Pina joined the Mexican Army as a cadet
in the "Heroico Colegio Militar" (Mexico's equivalent to West Point).
Then he graduated as an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant on January 1st, 1939. After
serving in an Infantry battalion, he requested his transfer to the "Escuela
Militar de Aviacion" (Military Aviation School) on January 1st, 1940,
which was granted. On July 2nd 1943, he survived a crash in a Vultee BT-13
basic trainer. His instructor Lt. P.A. Miguel Uribe Carballeda was killed
during the accident, but Samano Pina recovered to complete his training
and receive his wings on September 1st, 1943.
his graduation, he was assigned to the "3/o. Escuadron Aereo" (3/o.
Aerial Squadron) at Tampico, Veracruz, flying North American AT-6 Texan
advanced trainers on anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico. During
this deployment, it was reported that Samano Pina survived another accident.
He was later attached to a government agency. On February 3, 1944, he was
assigned to "Escuadron 201", as a Armament officer, and later selected
to go with this unit as part of the "Grupo de Perfeccionamiento Aeronautico"
(Aeronautical Training Group) for training in the United States, which
later became, on January 1st, 1945, the "Fuerza Aerea Expedicionaria
in the Philippines, Lt. Samano Pina was part of "C" Flight, known as "Gavilanes"
(Sparrow Hawks), under the command of Lt. Hector Espinoza Galvan (KIFA
16 July 1945). During his tour, Samano Pina was credited with 20 combat
missions, about 70 hours of combat time and 33 hours flying time in the
theater of operations.
his service in the MEAF, Samano Pina was promoted to the rank of Captain.
He left the service for a short time after his return to Mexico, and went
to fly for the"Compania Mexicana de Aviacion" (Known today as Mexicana),
but returned to active duty in 1947.
1950 to 1958 Samano Pina commanded the 201, and during that period, he
was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He retired from the air force, with
the rank of Brigadier General, in June 1966. He was killed at his house
in Cuernavaca, Morelia on February 3, 1987, during an attempted robbery
to his house. His story is one of the very few that had been told about
the Pacific war from a Mexican pilot's point of view.
the first combat missions of Squadron 201 (which began in early June
1945, first flying with the 58th FG, in their own formations, being lead
by American) it was natural, that some events would occur, accidents,
that would eliminate some of our best pilots.
next one to die after "Cachito" (SubTte.P.A.Fausto Vega Santander,
the first squadron casualty overseas, KIFA June 1, 1945, during a practice
dive-bombing mission in P-47D-15, s/n.42-232228) was Tte. P. A. Jose
Espinosa Fuentes. He volunteered to test fly a P-47 (P-47D-28-RA, s/n.42-28528,
squadron No.6, one of the many P-47's loaned to the Mexicans, from
the 58th FG, until the arrival of their own P-47's in late June 1945).
engine failed on take off. He could have saved himself, had he gone straight
in, in a force landing. Without turning, as specified in the aviation manuals.
But in front of him was a military camp and instead of crashing on the
troops Tte. Espinosa turned to the right, crashing into several obstacles
(The Pampanga Sugar Mill) he burned to death, near the town of Florida
Blanca, Luzon on June 5,1945.
witness, to this particular incident, was the C.O. of the 58th FG, Col.
Ed Roddy, a fighter ace with eight victories, who had come from the 348th
FG, a well known P-47 outfit, that had been lead by Col. Neal Kirby who
remembers the following:
Porac (I don't remenber who was with me) but I was near the ramp area at
the end of the runway, and one of the 201st birds was checking his mags.
The drop in the RPM was obvious to me and I mentioned that this was the
place to find engine problems-not after you got in the air.
I was dumbfounded when the plane taxied into position and started its takeoff,
still missing badly. This was Espinosa and he died when his plane hit the
Sugar mill. I looked up for Gaxiola to express my condolences, and noticed
that the Mexican flag was still at the top of the flagpole. I questioned
him about this, explaining to him what our procedure was.
told me he would call Col. Cardenas (at Fort. Stotsenberg) and let me know.
About one hour later he stopped by to tell me that the Mexican flag does
not come down to half-mast unless some great statesman dies.
told him since the 201st was part of our outfit, we were going to lower
the Stars and Stripes as a tribute to our fallen comrade. It was his turn
to be awed.
Tte. Espinosa, he was described thus by Samano Pina: Tte. Espinosa was
tall, and we nicknamed him "El Chiquito" (The Small One); he came
from the Military Signals school, and was of good character. He had recently
married, left no heirs and we felt his loss.
didn't know how the command designated our targets, and as an officer,
it was my duty to follow orders and that's it. Later, during a friendly
conversation with Col. Cardenas, chief of the Mexican Expeditionary Air
Force, he said that in the selection and priority, the American Command,
showed its kindness by asking what type of targets we preferred, in particular,
our interest in concentration of enemy troops, their supply centers and
placed at our disposition the most detailed information from their intelligence
received daily detailed information of the ground operations, updated day
by day situation maps, on the advances of the American forces in the North,
in the valley of Cagayan River to the Northwest in the region of Baguio,
and to the east in the region of Infante.
the ground echelon of the squadron, things were happening, Tte. de Artilleria
Cesar Velasco Ceron suffered a vehicle accident in which he hit his head,
temporally losing his senses. I visited him in the tent that served as
the hospital, as we had been good friends as students, since the good old
days in the "H.Colegio Militar". Velasco Ceron would only repeat constantly
in English "What Happened?".
duty was that of the intelligence officer, as was Capt. Jesus Blanco Ledezma.
As a result of the accident of Velasco Ceron, Capt. Blanco had to handle
all the work for that assignment. Our pay officer, Mayor de Infanteria
Guillermo Linage Olguin suffered another accident, where he broke his arm
after falling in a ditch.
detail under the command of Subtte. de Administracion (administration)
Guillermo Albert Robles, on July 23,1945 was sent to cut wood in the Peninsula
of Bataan, and were surprised by a Japanese soldier, who fired on them,
wounding Soldado (Soldier) Enrique Moedano Gomez in the arm. This
soldier was later interned in a Manila Hospital. The Japanese soldier fled
into the jungle and could not be found after a search of the area.
detail, on August 26, 1945, formed by one officer and ten enlisted men
under the command of Tte. Meterologista (Weatherman) Jose Cruz Abundiz
Cano left the campsite for a mission and discovered an enemy guerrilla,
eating. When they tried to capture him they saw another Japanese soldier
coming at them, and about to throw a hand grenade. They opened fire and
killed this soldier, the surprise was lost, and a shoot-out took place,
during which two Japanese soldiers were captured (Actually, the Japanese
soldier, who was about to throw the hand grenade was wounded and captured
by Cabo Armero (Cpl. Armorer) Ricardo Quintal Pinzon).
was in the camp when Corporal Olegario Gomez Rodriguez arrived with the
two POWs, one of them wounded. They looked thin and dirty reflecting the
sufferings of their defeat. We gave them food and cigarettes and later
handed them over to the U. S. Military Police. I realized that away from
combat, all military personnel are almost friends. That we had the idea
to serve our country, to sacrifice our lives. That the propaganda had not
affected me with hatred towards the enemy. Either way, we are professional
soldiers, and we were ordered to bomb and strafe them. Tragically, man
was born to fight. They say many donít withstand war, but many can't withstand
peace, mostly the young ones with much energy.
remember that many soldiers in our unit, wanted to go into combat, and
they felt disappointed, because as a fighter squadron, they didn't fight
like an infantry battalion. Most everybody wanted to fight, but being aviation
specialists, their mission was to maintain the aircraft and keep the pilots
in perfect conditions. We had mechanics, armorers, clerks, medics, drivers,
cooks, mail clerk orderlies etc, etc., for each pilot needs the support
of ten to eleven men of the other services.
other news, in the command group of the MEAF, Col. D. E. M. Alfonso Gurzan
and Major D.E.M. Enrique Sandoval Castarrica, went from June 15-26, to
observe the airborne operations in support of the 33rd Infantry Battalion
of the American Army in the region of Baguio, Luzon. Our intelligence officer,
Capt. Blanco Ledezma, could not withstand his desire to go into combat.
So he hitched a ride on a 5th Air Force aircraft during a bombing mission
to Formosa on June 5,1945.
of the most memorable missions flown by Tte. Samano Pina, was that of June
17,1945 as he describes it:
important mission was number 1-16 of June (17th) in the Region of Payavan
Restlow (Chart 3641-16). Led by the ground controller "Bygone" our flight
leader discovered an enemy convoy on a secondary road, and notified us
to strafe it; and you can imagine, we strafed the hell out of it! The flight
headed straight for the target; I had a truck right in front of me.
rapidly closed in; I fired two bursts. After the second one, I saw flames
rising from the vehicle, and we gained altitude to avoid any explosions,
while the other pilots were doing the same to other vehicles in the convoy.
Enemy anti-aircraft fire was light and inaccurate. Two aircraft of our
flight were hit by machine gun fire. During the strafing we also dropped
fourteen 1,000 bombs (General
this mission our leader Tte.Hector Espinosa Galvan, showed to be precise
and effective, having obtained good results in all those missions he led.
In this instance, we took off at 1330 hours and landed back at 1545 hours.
this mission eight P-47s had taken off, being flown by the following pilots:
Tte.Carlos Varela Landini, Tte. Fernando Hernandez Vega. Tte. Amador Samano
Pina and Tte. Joaquin Ramirez Vilchis, Subtte. Miguel Uriarte Aguilar,
Subtte. Manuel Farias Ramos and Raul Garcia Mercado. Two aircraft returned
early (Tte.Hernandez Vega and his wingman Subtte.Uriarte Aguilar) Actually
a total of 12 bombs were dropped and 6,900 rounds of 0.50 cal. ammo were
next day, we were notified that the pilots of "C" flight had the day off.
We were loaned two light vehicles to go into Manila. Our Medic, Major.
M.C. Ricardo Blanco Cancino recommended caution on our day off - not to
eat fruits, to avoid stomach problems, be careful with the water, be careful
with this and with that!
we arrived in Manila, we found a Spanish Colony, where we easily made friends
due to our ability to understand the same language. We inquired about a
good restaurant, and we were recommended "Ciros", where we found high-ranking
American officers and wealthy Filipino families.
ordered a dish of white rice with a filet, which was the best thing on
the menu. The filet was microscopic due to the war, but I was charged 10
Filipino pesos, which was about five US dollars and about $24.00 Mexican
pesos. This made me remember when I was stationed in Zacatecas. The "Madre"
Maria of the Infantry battalion would feed us for about $1.50 pesos daily!
They say there is no other place like Mexico! After that we went to visit
Sr. Alfredo Carmelo, Consul of Mexico in Manila.
particular individual, Sr. Carmelo, was the first Filipino to learn to
fly, he soloed on January 9, 1920 in a Curtiss Seagull seaplane.
received us very well and treated us to dinner. After the war Sr. Carmelo
and his family moved back to Mexico, where he frequently gave receptions
to the members of the squadron. Mr. Carmelo assisted the MEAF
in many ways, acted as their facilitator for their operations, assumed
the role as translator, and opened his house to the members of the MEAF,
during their visits to the city of Manila. Col. Cardenas would later award
Sr. Carmelo, honorary Mexican Air Force wings and made him honorary members
of the MEAF. Sr. Carmelo kept active in aviation, flying his last aircraft
at the age of 75!
return trip back to Porac field was another event that the Mexican pilots
had to go through as described by Samano Pina:
dinner we returned to Porac, having our .45's ready, because on the roads
there were still enemy guerrillas. Luckily nothing happened. We went to
bed, to be ready for the next day.
the 20th of that month, Samano Pina would fly his next ground support mission,
one that would have some serious consequences. As in any ground support
mission, there was the risk of hitting friendly troops in their area of
Mission was an Air Alert over the Area of Antipolo, and was led by the
Squadron Commander Capt. Radames Gaxiola Andrade, with Tte. Samano Pina
with four other Mexican pilots and two American pilot that accompanied
the formation. The final mission report reads as follows:
by elements of liaison detachment "Curless 1", the leader was to make contact
with an L-5 aircraft. Capt. Andrade reported he made contact with the liaison
aircraft, which marked the target with smoke bombs. The Formation bombed
the target and two additional strafing passes were made.
pilots observed that all the bombs exploded on the target area. The leader
observed two red color bombs (smoke) to the side of the target. The ground
controller "Curless" reported the results satisfactory. Later reports were
received in the 5th Fighter Command, that the formation had carried out
the attack in the vicinity of Purro Mountain where American troops were
operating, the attack had affected in part these troops.
was later found that there was a bad misunderstanding between the leader
of the formation and the ground support, and in the area there were many
L-5 aircraft operating, which contributed to the confusion. The formation
had taken off at 0730 hours and returned two hours later. 16 General Purpose
bombs (1,000lb) with instant fuses were dropped over the target and 5,260
rounds of 0.50 ammo were fired.
a study about the MEAF Lt. Col. Jose Gerardo V. Rivera of the Mexican Air
Force, wrote the following, concerning this particular incident:
available and unclassified missions reports of the V Fighter Command, 58th
Fighter Group, and the 201st Squadron, do not indicate cases of fratricide
(But in Col. Cardenas monthly report of June, dated July 1,1945 to the
Secretary of National Defense, on page 2 he refers to the accidental bombing
of American troops) during the Mexican missions. However Lt. Col. Sandoval
Castarrica wrote that on one occasion the SAP and the L-5 pilot (Forward
Air Controller) designated the target with white smoke bombs and cleared
the attack, indicating satisfactory results with all bombs observed impacting
the objective area; later the V Fighter Command notified that the attack
affected American troops. The next two flying days, pilots from the 58th
Fighter Group replaced the American liaison pilots and accompanied the
Samano Pina, would fly his next mission on the 23rd, an Air alert over
the area of Antipolo, Capt. Pablo L. Rivas Martinez, led this mission.
The rest of the formation included: Ttes. Hector Espinosa Galvan, Carlos
Corona Rodriguez, SubTte. Miguel Moreno Arreola, Manuel Farias Rodriguez,
Guillermo Garcia Ramos and an American pilot. The final mission report
reads as follows:
directed by SAP (Support Air Party) "Curless 2" 8 a/c bombed and strafed
enemy positions making 1 bomb run and 1 strafing run from the SE to NW,
with results unobserved by the pilots due to heavy foliage. Four larger
explosions were observed on secondary road running from 52.0-20.7 to 51.5-20.8
SAP reported the bombing and strafing results as "very good", except for
two bombs which were long, striking approximately at 52.1-81.2. Two a/c
badly damaged on landing upon return from mission. 1 pilot injured, probably
a fractured arm. 16 x 1000 lb GP ANM-65 with ANM103A1 nose fuse and ANM102A1
fuse, both instantaneous expended over the target. 5,370 rounds of Cal.50
ammunition were expended.
two P-47's were damaged during taxiing, being flown by SubTte. Manuel Farias
Rodriguez and SubTte. Miguel Moreno Arreola (P-47D-28-RA S/N 42-28504).
On the 24th it appears that Tte. Samano Pina led: Tte. Graco Ramirez Garrido,
Subtte Mario Lopez Portillo, Jose L. Pratt Ramos, Angel Rebollo and an
American pilot, obtaining the following results:
directed by SAP "Curless 2", 6 a/c bombed enemy concentrations marked by
WP on E bank of ravine. Due to poor weather, the bombing was made in close
formation; the leader dove his flight through a hole in the overcast. SAP
"Curless 2" reported the bombing OK and that all 12 bombs had struck the
NOTE: These last three missions were not part of the original article
but have been included to show the different types of missions flown by
the Mexican pilots in the Pacific war.
continued our ground support flights in the Battle area (until the
last one flown on July 4, 1945) learning tactics, organization, emergency
procedures, formations etc. We received good news when we were advised
that our new aircraft had arrived and we had to pick them up from the island
of Biak, near New Guinea and at Tacloban, on Leyte.
aircraft in question were the Lend-lease P-47D-30-RA, that appeared to
have arrived in late June 1945; a total of 25 were allocated to the Mexican
went to the later (Tacloban), which was much closer, with Tte. Fernando
Hernandez Vega and Subtte. Manuel Farias Rodriguez. We were transported
in a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber; I took the tail gunnerís position and
upon arriving at Leyte, I saw crashed aircraft on the side of the airstrip,
about 30 type A-24's (SBS's) and F-4 Wildcats (FM-2's) of
the US Navy...I was told that, before the base was finished, the Japanese
had sunk a carrier, while these planes were in flight (the battle of
Leyte Bay, October 1944) they went to the island and finding the runways
not yet completed, they crashed on landing. Later, on another airstrip,
there were hundreds and hundreds of new types of P-47's and P-51's, that
convinced me that the Japanese didn't have the remotest chance to win the
armed forces would succumb to the impressive air supremacy. Nothing would
serve to get out their obsolete weapons and conduct their "Banzai" chargers
- their bravery could only serve to delay just a little their final defeat.
we inspected the new aircraft which we were supplied (P-47D-30-RA)
and they had many new things like bubble canopies that permitted a 360
degree visibility; a device with the letters I.F.F. (Identification friend
or foe) that when connected, would send waves to the radar sets, to advice
that it was friendly aircraft, thus helping to avoid the wasting of fuel
on intercepting unidentified aircraft.
flight-tested the aircraft for about an hour. I felt very proud to fly
this modern fighter, that our leaders had put us in this modern flight
equipment, that made up for the economic hardships to support our unit,
compensated by our combat missions in the campaign, with these experiences
passed down to the new pilots.
element returned without incident to Luzon, but another formed by Sub-Tte.
Mario Lopez Portillo, and an American pilot (Actually, two American
pilots: 2Lt.Lee A. Houk, 311th FS and Lt.A.Z. Harris of the 69th FS, both
from the 58th FG. Lt. Houk was the formation leader) encountered bad
weather and on descending on instruments, crashed into a mountain range
on July 21,1945, and both pilots were killed. (SubTte. Lopez Portillo
was probably flying 44-90149, Lt.Harris had separated from the formation
and survived to notify both the American and Mexican Commands).
add more bad news, the one that went to Biak reported that my flight leader
Tte. Espinosa Galvan, had gone down at sea, due to fuel shortage on July
16,1945 as reported by Lt. Gus T. Roberts of the 310th FS (Also from
the 58thFG and the formation leader, also in that same formation was another
Mexican pilot SubTte. Praxedis Lopez Ramos, who returned safely) Our
operations officer Capt.2/o.P.A.Pablo L. Rivas Martinez went missing on
July 19,1945. It was like this, that our unit lost its best pilots, who
were in the command positions in the squadron (Capt. Rivas Martinez
was flying 44-90058, and he was not finally declared dead by Mexican officials
until August 18,1947 and promoted posthumously to the rank of Major. His
wingman SubTte Guillermo Garcia Ramos flying 44-333711, bailed out off
the West New Guinea coast in bad weather; they found out that USAAF Maj.
Larry D. Dennis, flying a Vickers built Catalina flying Boat OA-10A, later
Mario Lopez Portillo was a young man, single, with no bad habits. He had
graduated from the Military Aviation School at Guadalajara (21 March
1944) Jalisco, did a pilot's course at the US naval base at Corpus Christi,
Texas. Tte. Hector Espinosa Galvan came from the "H. Colegio Militar",
the military aviation school and Corpus Christi (Received his wings
on December 16,1943), he was married with two kids, we called him "Pinocchio".
Radames Gaxiola, our squadron commander (later B/Gen. KIFA September
14, 1966) assigned me the task of picking up the personal effects of
our friends and to send them to their wives. We had hopes that Espinosa
and Rivas Martinez had saved themselves by swimming to one of the many
islands, but our hopes were short lived.
Rivas Martinez had been flight instructor at the military aviation school.
He taught me to fly in 1941. Everybody called him "Pablito". He had received
the "Merito Militar" (Military Merit) medal for saving an aircraft.
January 3, 1937 when their Fleet Model 10-32D trainer No.4, entered into
a spin and stalled, the instructor bailed out, leaving Rivas Martinez behind,
who using what he had learned in class, managed after many attempts, to
safely recover and land the aircraft, earning him this medal). But after
the pilot bailed out, it changed the CG of the aircraft returning it to
normal flight, which "Pablito" using what he knew about flying landed it
at Balbuena after three atempts.
Capt. Rivas Martinez would survive an accident in a Ryan STM trainer No.1,
which put him in the hospital with Cadet P.A. Romero Medilli.
arrival of the new aircraft coincided with the end of the Luzon campaign;
later we would do our recon and bombing against the island of Formosa.
ends the account of the then Tte. Samano Pina, but not his combat experiences
in the Pacific war. He participated in two of the four "Fighter Sweeps"
that the 201st undertook to Formosa. The first one was flown on July 8,1945,with
nine other pilots, for which the final mission reports reads as follows:
Four unidentified aircraft sighted on return North of RYUKYU island flying
north at an altitude of 1000-ft. "Jabber" Leader lost them under the overcast.
One Squadron of P-38's and one of P-51's sighted south of FORMOSA, flying
toward LUZON. One pilot reported a submarine.
the second "Fighter Sweep" flown the next day, in which he participated
again with nine other pilots, but this time being led by Capt.2/o.P.A.Pablo
L. Rivas Martinez, the report mentions:
the flight they encountered numerous B-24,B-33 (sic), P-51 and P-38 planes
en route north, over the Southern part of Formosa. Two monoplanes seen
at Haito Airdrome to the South of Takao. They observed two destroyers and
seven vessels of large floating surface, which were anchored in Toko Bay
and three hydro- planes alight in the same bay with all their necessary
equipment. The leader of the flight did not attack the ships in Toko, Formosa,
because his mission was only to combat with aerial enemies or to intercept
of the last missions that was flown by all pilots of the 201st was on August
26, 1945,which the squadron recorded as follows:
mission to a convoy in the North Sea of the Philippines. Results: All pilots
of the 201st participated in this mission to escort a convoy from six o'clock
in the morning, until they were relieved by USAAF P-61 Black Widows at
18:00 hours in the evening. This mission took place, because it was feared
there could be an attack of suicide aircraft based at Formosa.
are some biographical notes that should be mentioned regarding Tte. Samano
Pina: during his training in the USA, he was involved in an accident near
the AAF Base in Pocatello, Idaho. He forced landed P-47D-28-RA s/n.42-29464
as the description of the accident reports states:
Samano took off at 13:45 on Formation elementary high altitude mission
and, after completing the mission the flight returned to the field. Due
to a change in runways and an emergency landing, the flight could not land
for some time. Lt. Samano had been on his main tank for several minutes
with no indication that his fuel supply was going down, so he assumed that
gauge was inoperative and switched to auxiliary tank just before peeling
off. Shortly after peel-off, the engine quit and he made a wheels-up landing
North of the field... (Accident occurred on Nov.8, 44).
resulted in extensive damage to the aircraft, to the extent that it had
to remain behind at Pocatello for repairs, until January 1, 1945. After
the Mexican Squadron had moved their training to Texas in late November
1944, due to the inclement weather in the state of Idaho.
mentioned earlier, after his return from the war, Samano was promoted and
served in civil aviation for a short period of time, and after his return
to active duty, he served in other positions, including commander of the
5/o.Grupo Aereo from 1960 to 1962.
he was chief of operations for the "Base Aerea Militar No.1" (Military
Air Base No. 1) from 1962 to 1965; during that time, he undertook a long
distance flight to Brazil in a Lockheed C-60, in January 1963, flying the
director of PEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos / Mexican Petroleum) for
a government visit.
March to July 1965 he was the director of the Military Aviation School;
his final posting was as commander of the "Escuadron Aereo de Transporte
Pesado C-54" (Heavy Transport Squadron - C-54), until his retirement
in 1966. Living in retirement until his tragic death in 1987, thus ending
the life of a Pacific war veteran.
RECORD OF THE 201ST MEXICAN FIGHTER SQUADRON MEAF
MISSIONS FLOWN: 96
SORTIES FLOWN: 785
SORTIES FLOWN: 6
COMBAT ZONE: 591
PILOT (AVERAGE): 86
HOURS FLOWN: 2842
LB (453KG): 957
500LB (226KG): 500
ROUNDS OF 0.50 CAL. EXPENDED: 166,922
LOST IN COMBAT: 0
DAMAGED IN COMBAT: 5
KILLED IN ACTION: 0
KILLED IN FLYING:
There is a discrepancy among the American and Mexican records on the type
and amount of bombs dropped by the squadron. A translated copy of the summary
for all the combat missions by the 201st submitted by Capt.2/o.P.A.Amadeo
Castro Almanza on March 12,1946 to the American Embassy in Mexico shows
the following types of bombs dropped by the unit: 1,000lb- 530 and 500lb-
of AMADOR SAMANO PINA by Manuel Ruiz Romero (UNDATED). Mexico City.
FIGHTER SQUADRON MEXICO, 58th Fighter Association Newsletter No.11, January
SHORT HISTORY OF THE 201ST MEXICAN FIGHTER SQUADRON OF THE MEXICAN EXPEDITIONARY
AIR FORCE by Santiago A.Flores, SAFO Vol.20 No.3 (79), October 1996.
REPORT OF AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT, dated 8 November 1944 of Samano, Amador P.1st.Lt.MAF
(via AFSA Kirtland AFB, New Mexico USA).
OFICIAL DE LA FUERZA AEREA EXPEDICIONARIA MEXICANA by Tte. Col. E.M. Enrique
Sandoval Castarrica, Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional, Mexico 1946.
JOIN THE ALLIES, THE MEXICAN EXPEDITIONARY (AIR) FORCE. by Santiago A.Flores,
Air Enthusiast forty-six. June to August 1992 (UK).
JOIN THE ALLIES, ROUND OUT DEPT. by Santiago A. Flores. Air Enthusiast
No.73, January/February 1998.
MEXICAN EXPEDITIONARY AIR FORCE IN WORLD WAR II: THE ORGANIZATION, TRAINING,
AND OPERATIONS OF THE 201st SQUADRON.A Research paper Presented to the
Research Dept. Air Command and Staff College (AU/ACSC/0609J/97-3) by Lt.
Col. Jose G. Vega Rivera (MEXICO), March 1997.
DE LOS ACCIDENTES OCURRIDOS A LOS C.C .PILOTOS DEL ESCUADRON 201 DE LA
FUERZA AEREA EXPEDICIONARIA MEXICANA copy of original document provide
by Capt.2/o. FAEAA (ret) Manuel Cervantez Ramos, Mexico D.F.
DE FILIPINAS, CAMPAÑA DEL LEJANO ORIENTE. by Tte. Corl. Amador Samano
Pina, Revista del Ejercito, Junio de 1957, Mexico D.F.