Operation RAGOÛT

International Operation Name: N/A

International Operation Dates:  N/A

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Caribbean

Location:  Cuba

Canadian Operation Name: Operation Ragoût

Canadian Operation Dates: 1970/12/03 – 1970/12/04

Mission Mandate:

437 Squadron provided the air transport for the kidnappers of Mr Cross from Montréal to Havana, Cuba

Mission Notes:

On 5 October 1970, Mr James R. Cross, senior British Trade Commissioner in Montreal was kidnapped by two men of Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ) during the October Crisis.  

On 3 December 1970, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Quebec Provincial Police (QPP) and Montreal Municipal Police found where James Cross had been held for 59 days.  On the same day, it was decided to raid the place.

Then, began a long period of negotiations for the release of Mr Cross.  The Yukon CL-44 106922 from 437 Transport Squadron (437 (T) Sqn) was deployed on stand-by a Dorval Airport.  Finally, and old Chrysler pulled out of the garage and, surrounded by a strong police escort, sped south towards Man his World (Expo 67 site) along Pie  IX boulevard, which had been sealed off by armed troops.  Inside the car were Mr Cross and his alleged kidnappers.  Following the exchange, on St-Hélène Island, the alleged kidnappers were flown to Dorval airport by military helicopter, arriving at 1900 hours.

Half an hour later, the kidnappers took-off for Cuba by Yukon special flight 602, landing at Havana international airport at 0107 hours on 4 December 1970.  Maj J.S. Parmelee was the aircraft commander.  By 0139 hours External Affairs personnel had confirmed their arrival, and Mr Cross was finally released and taken to the Jewish General Hospital, in Montréal.  On 5 December 1970, an aircraft from 437 (T) Sqn transported Mr Cross and his daughter and several government officials to London, England.

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