Nicaragua 1979

International Operation Name: N/A

International Operation Dates:  N/A

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Central America

Location: Nicaragua

Canadian Operation Name: (Nicaragua 1979)

Canadian Operation Dates: 1979/08/18 – 1979/08/26

Mission Mandate:

To deliver humanitarian aid to Nicaragua

Mission Notes:

The Annual Historical Report for 436 Squadron for 1979 as well as the annual report of the Department of National Defence “Defence 1979” both indicate that medical and relief supplies were flown to Managua, Nicaragua from 18 to 26 August for earthquake victims.  Air Transport Group Headquarters indicates the total was 153,000 pounds of relief supplies.

The United States Geological Survey does not indicate that there were any significant earthquakes in Central America except for one on 1 July near the Panama-Costa Rica border.  Damage and casualties from this earthquake were minor, as well as being situated at least 300 miles from Managua.

The major cause of damage in Nicaragua in the months preceding the August airlift was the fighting in June and July as the Sandinista guerrillas openly challenged the regime of President Anastasio Somoza Debayle, marching on the capitol Managua. By the time Somoza fled on 17 July, the Sandinista controlled 27 cities around the capitol and most of southern Nicaragua.  The fighting of this period had left thousands dead and over half a million people homeless.

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