Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation Haiti 1974

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

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Mandate: To deliver relief supplies to an under-developed area of Haiti, and the people of Saint-Louis du Sud in southwest Haiti.

Region Name: Central America

Location: Haiti

Mission Date: 26 February 1974 - March 1974

Canadian Operations: No Canadian operation name

Mission Notes:

The aid project in Saint-Louis du Sud was originally sponsored by the Canadian Forces Roman Catholic Vicarate, with the support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). It had been ongoing for three years and was now concluding with the construction of a school and a medical centre.

On 26-27 February 1974, three CC-130 Hercules flights transported about 90,000 lbs of Canadian canned meat.

At the same time, HMCS Preserver was loaded with some 80 tons of supplies ranging from school desks, to steel telephone poles, an X-ray machine, apple sauce, medical supplies, rice pudding and canned food, electrical wire, clothing and plastic pipe. It was decided to transport supplies by ship directly to the site because moving them from Port-au-Prince over Haitian roads to this outlying coastal region was a challenge, and this route was often impractical.

On 19 March 1974, HMCS Preserver started to deliver some 80 tons of aid to Saint-Louis du Sud an isolated parish in Haiti by four landing craft - vehicles and personnel (LCVP) and two Sea King helicopters. HMCS Preserver anchored in shallow Baie St-Louis. The LCVP carried about 109,000 lbs and the helicopters ferried about 50,000 lbs on two days.

While the delivery of supplies was underway, the ship’s medical and dental staff set up an improvised clinic in the town hall performing basic medical care. Capt Hudgins, the ship’s dentist was probably one of the busiest men in those three eventful days; he pulled more than 500 teeth.