Tag Archives: josu aguirregabiria

Fighting Basques: Basque Participation in the Resistance and Liberation of the Philippines (1942-1945)

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario on December 11, 2019. After the surrender of the US armed forces on May 6, 1942, in Corregidor, Japan was free to extend its military occupation throughout the Philippine archipelago. The Philippines was the only Pacific country with a solid and consolidated Basque and Navarrese community […]

Fighting Basques: Basque-Americans in the Battle of the Philippines (1941-1942)

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario on November 27, 2019. “The air attack on the airfields of the main island of the Philippines, Luzon, took us all by surprise and the ‘P-40’ fighters were destroyed on the ground the first day, without being able to take off.” Thus begins the first-person account […]

Fighting Basques: Basques in the US Merchant Marine in World War II

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario on December 25, 2019. Discussion of the Basque participation in the Merchant Marines of the Allied countries and more specifically in the United States during the Second World War (WWII), despite some non trivial efforts, have certainly been tangential, perhaps due to the immense scope of […]

Fighting Basques: The Basques and Navarrese of the Other ‘D’ Day: Saipan and the Pacific Front

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario on October 23, 2019. In contrast to the public commemorations of D-Day in Normandy, the Mariana island of Saipan attracts little or no institutional or media attention, despite its strategic importance in the Pacific Ocean theater of operations and the significance it had in the becoming […]

Fighting Basques: The other Basques of the Battle of Guadalcanal (1942): History Versus Myth

This article originally appeared in Spanish at EuskalKultura.eus on July 23, 2021. Faced with the legend and the myth of Carranza and his group of “Basque code talkers,” the real events of those Americans of Basque origin, Basque of flesh and blood, with Basque names and surnames, have to be vindicated by Basque historiography as […]

Fighting Basques: Basques in the Last Christmas of the War: The Battle of the Bulge

This article originally appeared in Spanish at El Diario on January 16, 2020. On December 14, 1944, two days before a large-scale German offensive began in the Ardennes and just four days after his 33rd birthday, the Basque-Californian soldier Alfred Starr Etcheverry wrote what would be his last letter to his wife Marion Hazard and […]

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 […]