Sator Sierra Sanchez

By Angela Bonilla

The 66th bombing mission that Sator “Sandy” Sanchez flew during World War II turned out to be his last.

On March 15, 1945, just days before his 24th birthday, Sgt. Sanchez's B-17 was shot down over an oil refinery in Ruhland, Germany. Sanchez was the only member of the 10-man crew who did not make it out of the plane before it crashed into the ground.

Sanchez received numerous honors for his combat heroism. After his death, a school, a park and an Air Force base dormitory were named in his honor.

Charlie Ericksen

By Jordan Strassner

Charlie Ericksen spent most of his adult life creating a strong bond with Mexican-Americans, writing news stories and columns about them, and advocating for better treatment for that community.

Thomas Lopez Casso

By Sarah Carter

Thomas Casso took off through the jungle after lighting a smoke signal that would tell United States troops where to target the Japanese, who were trailing his company on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.

Casso recalled his superior telling him, "Look, here's a smoke pot ... after we're out of sight and you can't hear us anymore -- 15 minutes -- you stay here then you light it and then you run ... and catch up with us.”

"Oh, 15 minutes can be a long, long time," Casso said.

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