Ceylon 1957

International Operation Name: Not applicable

International Mission Name: Not applicable

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: Asia

Location: Ceylon

Canadian Operation Name: (Ceylon 1957)

Canadian Operation Dates: 1957/12/29 - 1958/01/16

Mission Mandate:

To deliver humanitarian aid to Ceylon

Mission Notes:

The seasonal rains that began in Ceylon on 22 December 1957 were the heaviest in living memory. Rivers in the north-central and eastern provinces overflowed, flooding large areas of the country and leaving thousands of people without shelter, food or water. An immediate effort began locally and internationally to assist the newly independent nation.

The Royal Air Force station at Negombo began immediate food drops to people on isolated outcrops of land that remained above the flood. The United States Navy sent the aircraft carrier USS Princeton, with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron No. 162. Twenty HRS3 helicopters flew over 1100 hours delivering food and blankets over five days in early January.

In Canada, the Canadian Red Cross organized relief supplies for Ceylon. A 436 Squadron North Star left Montreal on 29 December with 8100 lbs of supplies, arriving at RAF Station Negombo on 3 January 1958. A second North Star left Montreal on 3 January with a further 8350 lbs, arriving at RAF Station Negombo on 7 January. The aircraft were back in Canada on 11 January and 16 January.

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