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A Ranger’s-eye view of the Panama Invasion
Former Army Ranger Salvatore “Sammy” DiTusa will offer a boots-on-the-ground view of the U.S invasion of Panama at a 3 p.m. presentation on June 5 at the Italian American Veterans Museum in Stone Park.
On Dec. 17, 1989, President George H. W. Bush gave “Operation Just Cause” the green light, setting the invasion in motion. The goal was to capture Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and restore democracy.
A scant three days later, the lead element of the invasion parachuted into the Panamanian sky at 1 a.m., in the U.S. military’s first combat night jump since World War II. Among those parachuting in was Specialist DiTusa, a member of the U.S. Army’s 2/75 Rangers.
In those pre-dawn hours, the Rangers and several other elite military units knocked out radar installations, secured several critical objects and paved the way for the almost 26,000 U.S. troops to follow.
On June 5, DiTusa will offer a blow-by-blow account of a dictatorship’s end.