Published On: Tue, Mar 24th, 2015

Yucatecan World War II hero Dies at Age 93

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Lieutenant Ramiro Bastarrachea, a machine gunner with Squadron 201, has died. He was the last of the 3 Yucatecans who had fought in World War II.  He died in Tixpéual, the village where he was born over 93 years ago, on February 27, 1922.


The three comprised the legendary Yucatan Squadron 201 of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force that fought in the Second World War in the Far East.  The other two Mexican members of the force were Reséndil Várguez Magaña and Ricardo Quintal Pinzon.

Mexican Air Force Squadron 201 in 1942 (Photo: Sipse)

Mexican Air Force Squadron 201 in 1942 (Photo: Sipse)

Don Ramiro was part of the crew of the B-29 aircraft and was responsible for a 50 caliber machine gun that was part of his armory of weapons. He was the son of Francisco Bastarrachea Chalé and Leónides Gamboa Iuit, along with his four Brothers Esperanza, Aurora, Aida and Alvaro.

In Cozumel, where he was sent to join the Air Base as a machinegun instructor, he met the woman who would later become his wife, Concepción Marrufo Medrano, with whom he had four children.

Don Ramiro Bastarrachea (Photo: Sipse)

Don Ramiro Bastarrachea (Photo: Sipse)

For his actions in combat, Don Ramiro, along with his comrades, was awarded with a medal of Service in the Far East. 201 Squadron saw action on the fronts of the Pacific War during World War II, as part of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force commanded by Colonel Antonio Cardenas Rodriguez Aviation Pilot. 201 Squadron was the only armed contingent in the history of Mexico that had fought abroad.



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