“Candy Bomber” dropped sweets while Berlin air transport died

Denver — A U.S. military pilot known as the “Candy Bomber” died in his airdrop in Berlin after the end of World War II.

James Stewart, director of the Gail S. Halvorsen Aviation Education Foundation, was 101 years old when Gale S. Halvorsen died of a short illness in his hometown of Utah on Wednesday, surrounded by most children. He said on Thursday.

Halvorsen was loved and respected in Berlin. Berlin finally came in 2019, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the day the Soviet unblocked post-war World War II and cut off supply to West Berlin at a large party at the former Tempelhof Airport. I did. The capital of Germany.

“Halvorsen’s human behavior has never been forgotten,” Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffy said in a statement.

Halvorsen was born in Salt Lake City, but grew up on a farm before he was licensed as a pilot.

After the United States entered World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he trained as a fighter pilot, served as a transport pilot in the South Atlantic during World War II, and then west as part of air transport. I flew food and other supplies to Berlin.

Halvorsen had various feelings about his mission to help the United States’ former enemies after losing a friend during the war, as he explained on the Foundation’s website.

However, after meeting a group of children behind the fence at Templehoff Airport, his attitude changed and his new mission began.

Gail S. Halvorsen
At Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Germany, on May 12, 2009, US Air Force veteran Gale S. Halvorsen stands among young pioneers. (AndreasRentz / Getty Images)

He provided them with the two gums he had in half and saw the people who picked up the gums share a piece of the rapper with the other kids who smelled the paper. I was impressed. The next day, Halvorsen recalled that he promised to fall enough for all of them, wiggle the wings of the plane as he flew over the airport.

He began doing so on a regular basis and used his candy ration to carry the handkerchief to the ground as a parachute. Soon other pilots and crew members joined what was called “Operation Little Vittles.”

A wave of candy and handkerchief donations continued after an Associated Press article appeared under the headline “Lollipop bombers jump over Berlin.”

Air transport feeds West Berlin on June 26, 1948, after the Soviet Union, one of the four occupied nations of Berlin after World War II, blocked the city in an attempt to squeeze the United States and Britain. It started with an ambitious plan to supply and supply. And France emerged from an excursion in East Germany under Soviet occupation.

Allied pilots flew 278,000 flights to Berlin, carrying approximately 2.3 million tonnes of food, coal, medicine and other supplies.

Finally, on May 12, 1949, the Soviet Union realized that the blockade was futile and lifted the barricade. However, as a precautionary measure if the Soviet changed their minds, airlift continued for a few more months.

Halvorsen’s efforts to reach out to the people of Berlin helped send a message that they would not be forgotten and abandoned, Stewart said.

Halvorsen, who grew up poor during the Great Depression, recognized himself a bit among the children behind the fence and established a relationship with them, despite the initial ambiguity about airlift, he said. ..

“Simple person-to-person kind behavior can really change the world,” Stewart said.

By Colleen Slevin and Kirsten Grieshaber

Associated Press


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