World War II and Mexican American Civil Rights

By Richard Griswold Del Castilo | Go to book overview

APPENDIX F
Excerpts from Among the Valiant: Mexican-Americans in WW II and Korea

RAUL MORIN

Raul Morin was born in Lockhart, Texas, and moved during the 1930s to Los Angeles, where he married and started a family. In 1941, he was drafted into the Army and fought with the 79th Infantry Regiment in Europe. After being wounded during the Battle of the Bulge, Morin was sent back to the United States to recuperate. While in the veterans hospitals, he decided to tell the untold story of the Mexican American combat soldiers, who were noticeably missing from the novels and movies that were generated after the war. Originally, he planned to produce a comic-book-style account, but found that there was just too much to say. So for the next ten years he sporadically worked on producing a book on the subject. He started with stories and information gathered from his interviews with wounded soldiers in the hospitals. He got the help of veterans organizations and their publications and contacts, and he gathered information from newspapers, clipping fles, and his own personal notes taken during the war. Morin traveled throughout the Southwest to track down stories and information about the Mexican American soldiers of World War II. Finally, in 1961, the American GI Forum, a Mexican American veterans organization, voted to take on the publication of Morin's book as a special project. Advance sales paid for the first printing.

This was the first, and so far the only, book-length firsthand account of the Mexican American soldiers and their experience in World War II. It has gone through eight printings and remains the most authentic story of the valor of these gis. The sections reproduced here tell of the fghting in the Pacifc and European theaters and the soldiers' return.1

-159-

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