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Book source: Avonturen aan de Wilde Kust,

Met dank aan Albert Buys Helman, VACO, Paramaribo, 1982 ISBN 9991400087

Subject: [History] WWII: The Yanks in Suriname


In 1941, American troops arrived in Suriname to occupy the Zanderij Landing strip and to defend Suriname against Germany. This deal was made between the Netherlands government in exile and the US government. The governor general and his advisors were not happy with this decision. The American forces were in Suriname for self interest as they needed to protect the bauxite mines and because Suriname was a covenient jumoing off point to Africa (Dakar) for the US Army Air Corps. [There was no USAF yet]. The US forces also guarded the border with French Guiana which was governed by the Vichy government under German occupation. The US forces operated in Suriname on a grand scale and in a generous way according to eye-witnesses. Americans not only showed material never seen before in Suriname but also knew how to live in luxury despite of war conditions. Paramaribo became a R&R (rest & recouperation) center for officers and enlisted personnel. Thus there was an economic boom in such areas as services, local shops, crafts industry etc. Thus with the American forces in their midst Suriname survived WWII in a rather "... festive way". The "greedy" Dutch were no comparison to the "generous" Yanks. In a short time circulation of hard dollars increased ten fold. The Americans paid steep wages in dollars. A substantial number of the American forces came from Puerto Rico. During this period Suriname was undergoing an "Americanization" transformation in their consumption of goods and services. The highest number of US forces in Suriname during WWII was 8000.

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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