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I was fortunate enough to be in Panama during "Operation Just Cause: The Invasion of Panama" in December of 1989. I lived in Panama from 1971 to 1986, and I was visiting my parents on Christmas break from college during the incident. In an interesting bit of video game trivia, these and other photos of the Panama invasion were used as inspiration for many of the 3D models featured in the Just Cause scenario of the Electronic Arts game "Jane's AH-64D Longbow", which was a neat helicopter simulation that came out in 1996.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a full-size version of the picture. Most photos were taken by my parents.

Click here for detailed viewA truck full of American soldiers rumbles through the usually peaceful streets of Balboa.


Click here for detailed viewThis is a shot of the roof of the DENI police station near our house. The police station had been run by the United States for years before turning it over to Panamanian law enforcement. It was completely destroyed by some sort of rocket.

Click here for detailed viewAnother view of the police station, with an American armored personnel carrier standing guard.

Click here for detailed viewAfter the invasion, US forces removed the last traces of the former police station by knocking down the last bullet-riddled wall with a wrecking ball.

Click here for detailed viewOne last view of the police station rubble.


Click here for detailed viewAn armored personnel carrier filled with heavily armed soldiers whizzes right by our house.


Click here for detailed viewThis was the Cain Brothers warehouse next to Albrook Air Force Station. It was damaged extensively by a spectacular fire, which we observed from a nearby hill.


Click here for a detailed view!Here's a poignant shot of the poor Abou Saad Temple mascot, shot through the leg with his head knocked over. I don't think that's just a flesh wound.


Click here for detailed viewMy mom standing outside a building that had been raked by machine gun fire.


Click here for detailed viewMy dad with a bus seized from the Panama Defense Force.


Click here for detailed viewThis is me in downtown Balboa with the Panama Canal Administration Building and the Goethals Memorial in the background.


Click here for a detailed view!US forces used the parking lot of the Balboa Youth Center as a temporary staging area for armored vehicles.


Click here for a detailed view!A group of Panamanian refugees assembles in Balboa ready to be moved in to temporary shelter at Balboa High School.

Click here for a detailed view!Here's another angle of the group of refugees in Balboa.

Click here for a detailed view!This is Balboa High School, with United States Army personnel carriers parked on the grounds, bringing soldiers to prepare the school's stadium for the influx of refugees.