Netherlands Mututal Aid - 1960

International Operation Name: not applicable

International Operation Dates:  not applicable

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Caribbean

Location:  Dutch West Indies 

Canadian Operation Name: (Netherlands Mutual Aid – 1960)

Canadian Operation Dates:  1960/12/05 – 1960/12/-14

Mission Mandate: To ferry 17 CS2F-1 Tracker carrier-borne aircraft to the Dutch West Indies 

Mission Notes:

            De Havilland Aircraft in Toronto, under licence from Grumman Aircraft, built 100 CS2F-1 Tracker aircraft for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).  By 1960, the RCN found that many of these aircraft were surplus to the Navy’s needs and the decision was made by the government to hand over 17 of them to the Netherlands  through the NATO Mutual Aid program.  From August to December 1960, ten Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN) personnel had been training in the operation and maintenance with the RCN in preparation for the handover of the Trackers.

            On 5 December 1960, the first five Trackers were handed over in an official ceremony at the RCN Air Station, Shearwater NS.  His Excellency A.H.L. Lovink, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Canada, formally accepted the aircrafts from Honourable A. Angus MacLean, Minister of Fisheries, representing the Government of Canada.

            On 7 December 1960, a North Star from 426 Squadron was dispatched to the RCN Air Station in Shearwater as a mother ship and followed the Trackers during the journey to Curaçao in the Dutch West Indies.  The Trackers were piloted by the RCN members and loaded with Canadian and Dutch naval air personnel and aircraft spares.  The Trackers travelled to the south by way of Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island where they refuelled, and then to Norfolk, Virginia, where they spent the night.  The next day, all aircraft proceed to Jacksonville, where the Trackers refuelled again, and then carried on the Homestead Air Force Base in Florida.  On the 10 December 1960, the convoy (followed by the North Star) flew to Port-au-Prince, Haïti, via Nassau, in the Bahamas, and the next day the Trackers were delivered to the Dutch authorities in Curaçao.  On 14 December 1960, the North Star and its Canadian passengers flew back to RCN Air Station, Shearwater NS. 

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