Machado, Mike Montes (1923–1998)

By: Andreas Oliver Meng Nielsen

Type: Biography

Published: March 28, 2021

Updated: March 28, 2021


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Mike Montes Machado, attorney and San Antonio district court judge, was the son of Mauro Machado and Hortencia Montez and was born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 4, 1923. His birth certificate recorded his first name as Mauro, but Machado subsequently went by the first name of Mike for the rest of his life. He grew up in San Antonio and attended Sydney Lanier High School, where he excelled on the football team. After high school, he was employed at Fort Sam Houston. On October 31, 1942, Machado enlisted in the United States Army and served in the U. S. Army Air Forces in the European Theater of Operations. By June 1944, as a nose gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber, he had flown more than forty missions over Europe. On June 13, 1944, Machado’s B-24 was heavily damaged in a raid over Munich, Germany, and his crew was forced to make a crash landing in northern Italy. Though Machado suffered serious burns to his upper body and arms, he rescued two of his fellow crewmen from the flaming aircraft. He was subsequently hidden by the French Underground until he was able to eventually return to the United States, where he began a thirty-six month-long recovery at Beaumont General Hospital (see WILLIAM BEAUMONT ARMY MEDICAL CENTER) in El Paso. His treatment included more than twenty skin graft operations.

After his recuperation and discharge from the military, Machado enrolled at St. Mary’s University under the G.I. Bill. In 1952 he graduated from Saint Mary’s University Law School and shortly thereafter became a prosecutor in the Bexar County district attorney’s office. He was appointed a municipal court judge in 1957 and held that position for twenty years. In 1977 he became a judge for the newly-created 227th District Court, and he served as district judge for more than two decades until his death. Also in 1977 Machado, a Catholic, was honored by Pope Paul VI with a knighthood in the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great.

Facing mandatory retirement at the age of seventy-five, Machado, a lifelong Democrat, was planning to run for Bexar County district attorney. Mike Montes Machado, age seventy-four, died from a brain aneurysm on July 29, 1998, at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio. He was survived by his wife Rosa Elia, to whom he was married for forty-one years, and two sons, Mike Jr. and Marc. He was noted for the thousands of marriage ceremonies he had performed as judge through the years and for his welcoming manner. More than a thousand mourners attended his funeral Mass which was celebrated by Archbishop Patrick Flores at San Fernando Cathedral. He was buried with full military honors at San Fernando Cemetery in San Antonio.

Congressional Record , Vol. 153, No. 61 (House of Representatives, April 17, 2007), Congress.gov (https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2007/4/17/house-section/article/h3461-1?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Remembering+Victims+Virginia+Tech+University+And+Honoring+Hispanic+World+War+Veterans%22%5D%7D&resultIndex=1 ), accessed March 25, 2021. San Antonio Express-News, August 1, 2, 3, 4, 1998.

Categories:

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Criminal Law and District Attorneys
  • Military
  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

Time Periods:

  • World War II
  • Texas Post World War II

Places:

  • Central Texas
  • San Antonio

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Andreas Oliver Meng Nielsen, “Machado, Mike Montes,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 20, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/machado-mike-montes.

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March 28, 2021
March 28, 2021

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