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Candy Bomber Returns To Berlin

Gail Halvorsen, 98, Received A Hero's Welcome

The former U.S. Air Force pilot who became famous for dropping candy to children during the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and 1949 recently returned to the German capital to a hero's welcome.

The U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail reports that Gail Halvorsen, now 98 years old, put on his military uniform to pose for photos and sign autographs on Saturday.

Halvorsen came up with the idea to drop small bags of candy to hungry children in Berlin after the railroads, roads and canals which were used to carry supplies into the city were blocked by the Soviet Union between June 1948 and May 1949. It was considered the first crisis of the Cold War. The U.S. and its allies launched the Berlin Airlift, which brought food and other supplies to the residents of the city, eventually dropping some 2 million metric tons of supplies in some 277,000 sorties.

But along with the necessary supplies, Halvorsen dropped small bundles of chocolate under handkerchief parachutes to the children. They knew the sweets were coming when Halvorsen dipped the wings of his airplane.

Halvorsen was invited to Germany as a guest of the German government to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the blockade.

(U.S. Air Force images)

FMI: Source report


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