Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation Guatemala 1976

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.

Guatemala 1976

International Information

International Operation Name: Guatemala 1976

International Mission Name: Guatemala 1976

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name: Central America

Location: Guatemala

Mission Date: 10 February 1976 - 17 March 1976

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Canadian Forces (CF) Information (Guatemala 1976)

Canadian Task Force Mission Statement:

To deliver humanitarian assistance to Guatemala.

CF Mission/Operation Notes:

At 3:00 AM on February 4th 1976, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Guatemala City. Over 23,000 people were killed, 76,000 injured and nearly 1 million left homeless – almost one sixth of Guatemala’s population. The northern part of the city was virtually destroyed. The shock was felt not only in Guatemala, but as far away as Mexico City. In Honduras, parts of three towns near the Guatemalan border were destroyed.

Aid came in almost immediately, with US personnel and military helicopters from the Panama Canal Zone arriving to assist Guatemalan troops maintain order and to ferry relief supplies to isolated villages. From the United States, there was an immediate $3.6 million in emergency aid and a further $15 million from voluntary contributions within six days of the quake. Most Central American countries sent food, clothing, medical supplies, doctors, and relief experts, while the Organization of American States contributed $500,000.

437 Squadron flew two Boeings loaded with powdered milk and other relief supplies to Guatemala City.

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