Operation Chad

by Daniel L. Haulman

Operation Name: Operation Chad
Location: Chad
Date: October 9–21, 1969
Emergency: Poor harvests produced famine and heavy rain made roads impassable, blocking overland food deliveries from other areas.
Organizations: 347th Tactical Airlift Squadron
Airlifted: 164 tons of food and 46 relief workers.
Aircraft Used: C–130 (two)

During the second half of 1969, famine resulting from poor harvests struck central and north central Chad. United Nations food was sent to Fort-Lamy in southwestern Chad for overland delivery, but heavy seasonal rain made roads impassable and the government of Chad asked the U.S. embassy at Fort-Lamy for an airlift. The Agency for International Development provided financial sponsorship for Operation Chad.

On October 9, the 347th Tactical Airlift Squadron of the 516th Tactical Airlift Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas, flew a pair of C–130 Hercules airplanes to Chad for the Strike Command. Between October 13 and 17, the planes airlifted a 46-man relief team and 164 tons of food—including rice, millet, sugar, vegetable oil, and butter—from Fort-Lamy to five scattered locations in the famine area. Some cargo was airdropped in places where landing was not practical. The planes returned to Dyess on October 21.

The French government, which had ruled Chad as a colony, also airlifted food from Fort-Lamy to the needy region. The airlifts helped the people of central and north central Chad to survive until roads reopened.

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