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Operation Manna

    The RAF has been involved in numerous humanitarian aid efforts around the world since its inception nearly 100 years ago. 2015 marks 70 years since Operation Manna, which saw food drops take place across Holland towards the end of WWII. Other humanitarian missions the RAF have carried out include Operation Bushel, which brought famine relief to Ethiopia in the 1980s and Operation Cheshire which flew humanitarian aid into Sarajevo in 1992.

  • Flt Lt Ryan Foils
    When natural disasters strike the RAF is called on to deliver aid

    When the Pacific islands of Vanuatu were devastated by Cyclone Pam, the international community rallied to help. The RAF's C17 fleet was ideal to help deliver the humanitarian aid to such a remote corner of the ocean.

  • Op Cheshire
    RAF's longest running airlift helped save the people of Sarajevo

    The operation to keep the inhabitants of Sarajevo alive during civil war in the early 1990s remains the longest running airlift in the RAF’s history. It mirrored one of the RAF's first humanitarian aid drops, Operation Manna, when food was dropped for the starving Dutch people.

  • Flt Lt Daz Ryllo
    Quick response was key to helping Iraqi refugees

    When the RAF is called upon to help deliver humanitarian aid, a swift response is essential. You can't get swifter than arriving at work at RAF Brize Norton in the morning to dropping five tonnes of aid in Iraq by the evening. Hercules pilot Flt Lt Daz Ryllo and his crew did just that when UK Aid sent supplies to refugees isolated on a mountainside.

  • Op Bushel
    RAF carried out vital food drops to tackle famine in Ethiopia

    As we get ready to remember the 70th anniversary of Operation Manna, former Hercules navigator Paul Hewson looks back on the humanitarian aid mission he took part in. Operation Bushel became one of the biggest air-drops of its kind when more than 32,000 tonnes of supplies were delivered to the starving people of Ethiopia.

  • Operation Manna
    Commemorating 70th anniversary of Operation Manna

    It was the end of World War Two and the airmen of Bomber Command that propelled humanitarian relief work into the modern era.

  • Dave Fellowes
    "It was like dropping a shopping basket" - memories of Op Manna 70 years on

    For troops involved in Operation Manna, one of the RAF's first humanitarian aid missions, the knowledge they were helping to save lives rather than destroy them was key. Air gunner Warrant Officer Dave Fellowes was one of those tasked with dropping food for the starving Dutch people during WWII.

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