Operation Safe Haven (1957)

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Operation Safe Haven was a refugee relocation operation executed by the United States Marine Corps to evacuate 15,570-21,000 of the 200,000 Hungarian refugees to the United States following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The airlift was ordered by Dwight D. Eisenhower on Dec. 10, 1956, as a Cold War response to the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian revolt. It was a joint endeavor by the United States Bolling and Military Air Transport Services, the United States Navy, and various commercial aircraft. On January 1, 1957, air transports from the 1608th Air Transport Wing from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., and 175 aircraft from the 1611th Air Transport Wing from McGuire AFB, N.J., relocated 9,700 refugees to the United States, under the direction of Airlift Task Force commander Major General George B. Dany. In addition to air transport, from December 18, 1956, through February 14, 1957, ships of the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service (USNS Eltinge, Haan, Marine Carp, and Walker) transported 8,944 refugees from Bremerhaven, Germany, to Camp Kilmer, NJ, USA. These refugees were job-classified by the U.S. Labor Department as they made their way to American shores.