Congo – UNIKOM

(14 March 1961 – 9 November 1961)

In 1960, the Hellenic Air Force, in compliance with the Greek Governmental decision, sent an a/c detachment of the 3rd Transportation Squadron to Congo, to evacuated Greeks living in the country, and transport them to secured areas. Two C-47 Dakota a/c with 27 Officers and NCOs stayed there from the 21th to the 31th of July and made 55 sorties, transporting 157 Greeks from troubled areas to other secured ones in Congo and in neighboring countries, i.e. Ruanda-Urundi, province controlled by Belgium.

Next year, the Hellenic Air Force, contributing to the U.N. effort to restore order in the newly independent Republic of Congo, sent the Hellenic Air Detachment of Congo, consisting of 21 officers and NCOs. The personnel was transported to Congo by Olympic Airways and U.N. commercial flights.

Following the arrival, on the 14th of March 1961, the Hellenic Air Detachment was assigned under the command of the U.N. Air Forces and assumed responsibilities of conducting various UN missions, mainly transporting material and personnel.

It is worth noting that 110 missions were conducted in April 1961, during which 26.184 libr. of material and 677 persons were transported, as well as 49 missions from the 1st of September to the 15th of October 1961, transporting 63.390 libr. of material and 197 persons. On the 9th of November 1961, the Hellenic AF Detachment departed for Greece, after having been augmented by (4) NCOs.

The contribution of the personnel of the Hellenic AF Mission in Congo, both pilots and technicians, who worked in adverse weather conditions, accomplishing their assumed tasks successfully, was acknowledged and praised by their superiors. In addition, Greece and its Air Force became known for great deeds all over the world.