Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation RAGOÛT

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: Operation RAGOÛT

International Mission Name: Operation RAGOÛT

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: Central America

Mission Date: 3 December 1970 - 4 December 1970

Mandate: 437 Squadron provide the air transport for the kidnappers of Mr Cross from Montréal to Havana, Cuba.

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Canadian Forces (CF) Information (RAGOÛT)

CF Mission/Operation 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, an old Chrysler pulled out of the garage and, surrounded by a strong police escort, sped south towards Man and 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 kidnappers. Following the exchange, on St-Hélène Island, the 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.