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Gen. G. W. Mundy

"As part of my responsibilities as Commander of Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, Texas, was the control of military personnel going into Mexico. All were required to change their American money into two-dollar bills to thwart German counterfeit attempts. 

I made a particular point of treating the Mexicans as Allies inasmuch as they were told they were also at war with Germany. I met with civic leader of Cuidad Acuna to discuss the serious problems of sanitation and price of gouging that were going on in their town. I was determined to resolve them. I was given seemingly sincere promises of cooperation in correcting these glaring deficiencies. But their promises were only hollow. 

I retaliated by telling the leaders that I was closing the border between Del Rio and their city because we could not tolerate the risk of exposing our airmen to mistreatment or disease. At first, they were unconcerned but when lack of our airmen's business began to be felt, they came to me and asked for another chance. I agreed, but suggested strenuously that they take some of the money that they would be making from our GIs and use it to improve their city water supply. It was highly contaminated by coliform bacteria - fecal matter. But once again, no results, so I had to close the border for a second time. Once again, they pleaded for another chance. In agreeing, I firmly pledged that if I had to close it one more time, it would be permanent - I would never reopen it again! It brought results. They began to cooperate much better with me in correcting these nagging problems - they even made distinct improvements to their water system. 

Years later, I had an occasion to land at Laughlin and through the Base Commander, word reached the Mexican leaders. I was surprised to learn they had arranged a quick banquet in my honor. It seemed that the marked improvement in the quality of their water supply together with the newly learned lesson of working together to solve mutual problems instead of ignoring them, had enabled the town of Cudid Acuna to remain prosperous while their neighbors were battling a crippling depression. "My persistence had been rewarded I was pleased"

Mundy [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ]
Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group" by Robert Laird (Crew 5) and David Smith (crew 31)