India - Pakistan 1947

International Operation Name: N/A

International Operation Dates: N/A

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: Asia                

Location: India and Pakistan          

Canadian Operation Name: (India - Pakistan 1947)

Canadian Operation Dates: 14 October 1947 – 14 November 1947

Mission Mandate: To deliver penicillin, supplied by the Canadian Red Cross, to India and Pakistan.

Mission Notes: At midnight, 15 August 1947, India and Pakistan received their independence from Great Britain, with predominantly Hindu areas becoming part of India and predominantly Muslim areas becoming part of Pakistan. The process was marred by the outbreak of communal violence and a mass relocation of peoples. An estimated 3.5 million Hindus and Sikhs fled Pakistan for India, while an estimated 5 million Muslims fled India for Pakistan.

Concerned with the casualties due to both disease and violence, the Canadian Red Cross donated penicillin to its sister organizations in India and Pakistan. The penicillin was flown to the United Kingdom by Trans Canada Airlines, whence it was loaded into an RCAF aircraft.

On 14 October, RCAF Dakota KN 665 left the United Kingdom carrying 139 cases of penicillin. After stopping in Karachi, Pakistan, where it off-loaded 47 cases, it flew on to New Delhi, India, where 92 cases were off-loaded. Once this was completed, the aircraft and crew remained in India to assist the Canadian High Commissioner. Flights were made in various parts of the new nation to observe road and rail conditions and to monitor refugee movements. The crew also drew up plans in case Canadian citizens needed to be evacuated by air because of the violence. Having completed the work for the High Commissioner, the aircraft and crew returned to the United Kingdom on 10 November, arriving on the 14th. 

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