Belize 1961

International Operation Name: not applicable

International Operation Dates:  not applicable

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Central America

Location:  Belize

Canadian Operation Name: (Belize 1961)

Canadian Operation Dates: 1961/11/8/ - 1961/11/12

Mission Mandate: To deliver humanitarian assistance to Belize.

Mission Notes:

1961 featured two particularly bad hurricanes whose names would be retired – Carla and Hattie. Tropical storm Hattie reached hurricane strength on 27 October while off the coast of Panama. Moving northward along the Central American coast, she took aim at Cuba; however, as she passed by Honduras on the night of 30 October she made an abrupt westward turn and headed for Belize (the former British Honduras). She hit that country as a Category 5 storm, packing 260 km/h winds (160 mph) with gusts to 320 km/h (200 mph). With a storm surge of 4.0 to 4.6 metres (13-15 feet), fishing villages were obliterated, while Belize City had 75 percent of its buildings destroyed or heavily damaged. An estimated 275 people were killed, mostly in Belize City.

No. 426 Squadron sent a North Star loaded with Red Cross supplies to Belize City on 8 November. It stopped overnight in New Orleans before flying on the next morning. After returning to New Orleans, the crew received another load of relief supplies on the 10th, flying this to Belize City on the 11th. The crew returned to Trenton the next day.

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