(Jamaica 1951)

International Operation Name:  Not applicable

International Operation Dates:  Not applicable

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Caribbean

Location:  Jamaica

Canadian Operation Name: (Jamaica 1951)

Canadian Operation Dates: 1951/08/24 – 1951/08/26

Mission Mandate: To deliver humanitarian assistance to Jamaica

Mission Notes:

With winds gusting up to 125 mph (200 km/h), Hurricane Charlie hit an unprepared Jamaica on 17 August 1951 and raged through the day on the 18th. After devastating Jamaica, the hurricane went on to Mexico where it caused extensive damage. In Jamaica, the hurricane killed over 150 people, left over 50,000 homeless and devastated whole areas of the country, including the capital of Kingston. With most of the infrastructure destroyed in the major centres, the lack of fresh water raised fears of typhoid and dysentery. The British Red Cross, the Royal Navy and the British Army had medical teams on site attempting to fight the spread of disease.

In Canada, the Canadian Red Cross requested the assistance of the RCAF, who placed two North Star aircraft from 426 Squadron at its disposal. One North Star flew 3,000 lbs of blankets and lamps from Winnipeg to Toronto where they were loaded into a second North Star with 6,000 lbs of food and several kegs of nails. The aircraft departed on 24 August, bound for Florida, where it spent the night as there were no night landing facilities in Jamaica. Two representatives of the Canadian Red Cross accompanied the flight. The next day it arrived in Jamaica, off-loading the supplies and the two Red Cross representatives, before returning to Canada.

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