Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation Pakistan, Flood Aid 1955, 1956

CF Overseas Operations have most often operated within the construct of an international mandate. As such, the International Information is presented first in order to provide the context of the Canadian Operation (displayed second). Eventually, all rotations associated with the particular Canadian operation will also be displayed.

International Information

International Operation Name: Pakistan, Flood Aid 1955, 1956

International Mission Name: Pakistan, Flood Aid 1955, 1956

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: Asia

Location: Pakistan

Canadian name:
No Canadian Op name: 7 to 17 December 1955, 3 to 17 March 1956

Mandate: To airlift humanitarian relief to Pakistan after monsoon flooding.

Narrative:

Every summer, the central-Asian landmass heats up. As the hot air rises it creates a low pressure area that draws in massive amounts of air from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The winds created by this influx of air are properly called monsoon; the rain that comes with it are the monsoon rains.

The monsoon season on the Indian sub-continent typically lasts from June to the end of September. Some areas in western and central India receive 90 percent or more of their annual rainfall in this period. The average monthly monsoon rainfall ranges from 200 to 300 mm per month, with July and August receiving the heaviest rain.

In August 1955, the monsoon rains were particularly heavy. With 20 major rivers rushing down the Himalaya mountains into the low-laying flood plains at the top of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian states of Bihar and Assam, and areas of East Pakistan were very hard hit. Between 4 and 8 million people were forced to flee the floodwaters in India alone.

The next year brought even more hardship and water to eastern India and East Pakistan. Again over 10, 000 square miles were flooded and 2000 people killed. Adding to the problems, three cyclones in September brought more rain and destruction.

In 1955, the response was greater, with special flights being arranged to deliver the relief. Two North Stars from 426 Squadron were tasked in December to fly relief supplies to India and Pakistan. The aircraft bound for New Delhi left Montreal on the 5th, arriving in New Delhi on the 9th. The flight for Karachi left on the 7th and arrived on the 11th. They were back in Lachine on the 16th and 17th respectively. The Government of Canada had donated $50,000 for each country, including blankets and medical supplies.

A further North Star flight on 6 March 1956 delivered medical supplies to Karachi, Pakistan. The aircraft returned to Lachine on 17 March.