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    Panama (Republic of Panama)  

Location
Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital is Panama City. Prewar and during World War II, Panama was part of the "Canal Zone" or "C.Z."

Wartime History
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the newly established Caribbean Defense Command carried out its mission of Canal defense through a widespread net of naval and air reconnaissance, with the greatest threat coming from German U-boats. On May 18, 1942 the United States and Panama sign an agreement concerning the use of Panama defense areas by US forces. By April 1943, the threat to the Canal was diminishing, defense status was downgraded, and a reduction in troop strength began.

Postwar
The Torrijos-Carter Treaties set in motion the process of handing the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control, was signed by US President Carter and President of Panama Torrijos on September 7, 1977.

Military officer Manuel Noriega promoted himself to General and became de facto ruler of the government. Beginning in 1986, US President Ronald Reagan negotiated with General Noriega, requesting that the Panamanian leader peacefully step down after Noriega was publicly exposed in the New York Times and during the Iran-Contra Scandal. Instead, American military forces intervened in Panama during December 1989 and Noriega surrendered on January 3, 1990.

Panama Canal
Prewar and during World War II, the Panama Canal was considered part of the "Canal Zone". It was a strategic assets allowing ships to cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Albrook Field (Albrook AFB, Marcos A. Gelabert Airport)
Located on the east side of the Panama Canal, south of Fort Clayton and north of Balboa

Howard Field
Built during 1942, closed November 1, 1999 today Panama Pacifico commercial real estate

Anton Field (Anton Army Airfield)
Wartime airfield

Río Hato Field (Río Hato Army Air Base, Río Hato Airport)
Built by the US Army, today under rehabilitation as a new airport

David Field (San Jose Field, Enrique Malek Airport)
Located in western Panama, Built by the US Army and still in use today

France Field (Coco Walk, Colon, Enrique Adolfo Jiménez Airport)
Located on the eastern coast of Panama, still in use today

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016

 

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