Category Archives: Fighting Basques

Fighting Basques: Félix and Julián Oleaga, Two Basque Brothers at the Front in Europe. From D-Day to Bastogne

This article originally appeared in Spanish at EuskalKultura.eus. Having just turned 19, the young Basque-New Yorker Julián Oleaga Garayo, slight of build, found himself with hundreds of his compatriots literally up to his neck in water – laden with equipment that almost equaled his own weight – starring in one of the most momentous episodes […]

Fighting Basques: Two German Deserters Among the Gudaris

This article originally appeared in Spanish at EuskalKultura.eus. A history of the Gernika Battalion (Pointe de Grave, 1945). When one of the authors of this blog, Guillermo Tabernilla, published the book Basque Combatants in World War II, we learned, for the first time, details of the Gernika Battalion that had not yet been treated by […]

Fighting Basques: Navarrese Marine Federico Clavería, First Correspondent in WWII

In memory of journalists David Beriain and Roberto Fraile, murdered in Burkina Faso. This article originally appeared in Spanish at EuskalKultura.com. On October 22, 1912, 25-year-old young Navarrese Saturnino Clavería Razquin, born in Altsasu in 1886, crossed the border between Mexico and the United States (USA) through the pass between Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas and Laredo, […]

Fighting Basques: Relentless fighters. The Etchemendy-Trounday in World War II

Between them, these three Basque-American brothers had 27 years of military service, a third of them during World War II. This article originally appeared in its Spanish form in El Diario. In February 1952, the Reno Gazette-Journal proclaimed the Basque-American brothers John, Leon, and William Etchemendy Trounday as “the most decorated group of brothers in […]

Fighting Basques: Antonio Guezuraga Besanguiz. From the Beaches of Algeria in 1942 to Apollo 11

This native of Busturia was NASA’s chief engineer and participated in the mission that took Armstrong and Aldrin to the moon. This article originally appeared in its Spanish form in El Diario. How is it possible that a boy from a small town in Bizkaia, with just a few hundred inhabitants, managed to become one […]

Fighting Basques: “This is my war too!” Cecilia Corcuera and Carmen Arabia in the United States Army

This article originally appeared in its Spanish form in El Diario. In “Spaniards against Hitler. At the service of the United States Army,” we presented the results of a preliminary analysis on the weight of Spanish emigration in the United States Army (USA) in World War II (WWII). In that work, we identified 1,194 men and two […]

Fighting Basques: Six Basques at Pearl Harbor, The Day of Infamy

This article originally appeared in its Spanish form in El Diario. War was inevitable. The United States – despite its “neutrality” and even without considering the huge supply of raw materials and war machinery it would send to the United Kingdom in the near future – was the only country capable of standing in the way […]

A Man on the Move Studying Movement of Basques: An Interview with Pedro Oiarzabal

Pedro Oiarzabal has traveled the world, taking the pulse of Basque diaspora communities across the globe. In normal times, he can often be found at Basque festivals, talking to everyone he can, to understand what being Basque means. Currently, he is the co-lead of a project that aims to document the stories of Basque veterans […]

Fighting Basques: The Two Burials of the Sailor Peter Paul Parisena Mendionde

Pierre “Peter” Paul Parisena Mendionde was born on March 3, 1925 in the French town of Bordeaux, to parents from Nafarroa Beherea. His father, Jean “John” Santiago Parisena Maya, a veteran of the French Army during the Great War, was born in Banka in 1902, while his mother Catherine Mendionde Antchagno was born in Urepele in […]

Fighting Basques: Objective Burma: Julio Eiguren, the Basque Spy Who Did Not Exist

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario. You can find all of the English versions of the Fighting Basques series here. The invasion of Burma (now Myanmar) – in the hands of the British Empire since 1886 – by the Empire of the Rising Sun at the end of December 1941 was another […]