Category Archives: Fighting Basques

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 […]

Fighting Basques: A Love Story. The Ybarrola Family in the United States

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario. You can find all of the English versions of the Fighting Basques series here. From the small Baltic province of present-day Estonia, located in northern Europe, the Kivimägi/Kewe family came to Tarhan — in the western part of the Crimean Peninsula bathed by the Black Sea. […]

Fighting Basques: Colonel María Rementeria Llona and the Women at War Together With the US

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario. You can find all of the English versions of the Fighting Basques series here. The struggle of women for equal participation in American society – from the right to vote, achieved in 1920, and women advancing in equality with men in terms rights and responsibilities derived […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Gernika Battalion

In collaboration with Pedro Oiarzabal and the Sancho de Beurko Association, I’ve been translating some of their articles in the Fighting Basques series. These articles summarize their research into the contributions of Basques during World War II, often focusing on the role of Basque-Americans. One of the most distinguished contributions came from the Gernika Battalion, […]

Fighting Basques: Basques on the Forgotten Front of America — The Aleutian Islands of Alaska, 1942-1943

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario. You can find all of the English versions of the Fighting Basques series here. Even more than the devastating attacks by German U-boats against the Allied merchant navy on the Atlantic coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, or in the Caribbean, or the failed espionage attempts […]