Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Operation Golden Pheasant (1988)
Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park
In early March, 1988, the Nicaraguan Sandinista government launched Operation Danto to overrun Contra rebel supply caches in the San Andrés de Bocay region, crossing into Honduran territory in their drive.
The United States, under President Ronald Reagan, dispatched elements of the 7th Infantry Division (Light) Quick Reaction Force (QRF) on a no-notice deployment. This small force quickly landed at Palmerola Air Base (now known as Soto Cano Air Base) and moved quickly into position at a Honduran military base to facilitate the guarding of a local general. The units from the 7th Infantry Division were on the ground several days when the 82nd Airborne elements arrived. The deployment evolved into a live-fire training infantry soldiers and exercise, but the light infantry soldiers and paratroopers deployed ready to fight, causing the Sandinistas to rapidly withdraw across their border.
The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 304th Parachute Infantry Regiments and Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment 82nd Airborne Division, were joined by soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 9th Infantry
On 17 March 1st Battalion landed at Palawrola Airfield a Honduran Air Force base, that was the headquarters for the U.S. military presence in Honduras. the 2nd Battalion jumped onto the airfield a day later, soldiers of the 27th Infantry Regiment (the “Wellhounds") repelled onto the airbase on 17 March 1988 and moved within 3 miles of the Nicaraguan border the same day.
The units from the 82nd Airborne, the 504th began rigorous training exercises with orders to avoid the fighting on the border had those orders changed, the paratroopers and infantrymen were prepared to fight, but the invading Sandinista troops had already began to withdraw. Within days the Sandinista government negotiated a truce with Contra leaders, and by the end of March the 27th Infantry had returned to Fort Ord, California and the paratroopers of the 504th had returned to Fort Bragg.
Operation Golden Pheasant was an emergency deployment of U.S. troops to Honduras in 1988, as a result of threatening actions by the forces of Nicaraguans.
Jan 1988 - Members of the 82nd Airborne Division land after jumping from C-141B Starlifter aircraft, President Ronald Reagan mobilized U.S, exercise task force Dragon/Golden
Erected by Hillsborough County.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in this topic list: Wars, Non-US. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #40 Ronald Reagan series list.
Location. 27° 58.647′ N, 82° 21.679′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Memorial can be reached from U.S. 301, 0.2 miles south of East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, on the right when traveling south. Marker stands within Hillsborough County Veterans Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3602 N US Highway 301, Tampa FL 33619, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. United States Invasion of Panama (1991) (here, next to this marker); United Task Force (1992-1993) (here, next to this marker); Cambodian Campaign during mid-1970 (here, next to this marker); Invasion of Grenada 1983 (here, next to this marker); Operation Praying Mantis (here, next to this marker); Gulf of Sidra incident (1981) (here, next to this marker); Operation Frequent Wind (here, next to this marker); Operation Odyssey Dawn (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
Also see . . . 1,000 Troops Ferried Close to Nicaragua : U.S. and Honduran Soldiers Deployed in Show of Muscle. (Submitted on April 2, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 2, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 561 times since then and 240 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 2, 2022, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.