Gail S. Halvorsen

The most renowned U.S. pilot of the Berlin Airlift. He became known as “the Candy Pilot” for throwing chocolate bars attached to small parachutes down to the children of Berlin during the Airlift flyovers. Soon the whole Air Force caught on and took part, thus leading to the planes being called “Candy Bombers”. By the end of the Airlift, some 25 tons of sweets had been thrown down to the children below, all just to bring them a moment of joy. G. Halvorsen was the commander of Tempelhof from 1970 to 1974 and was awarded with the German Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz). Now 91 years old and living in Salt Lake City, he still makes frequent visits to Berlin on Airlift commemoration days.

Dear Sir, dear Madam,
dear members of the aid association for the reconstruction of the ‘Candy Bomber‘,

I feel a need to contact you and assure you of my appreciation and my support.
62 years ago I flew C-54 candy bombers which brought supplies to the western half of the City of Berlin during the Berlin Blockade, again and again. We young pilots intended to help the people of Berlin during a time of uncertainty and privation, in order to prevent the inhabitants from starving to death. Our aircrafts were flying miracles. We wouldn‘t have made it without them: starting every 3 minutes, loading, unloading and off again.

Not only me, but my former buddies, too, we were happy to hear that 10 years ago, our candy bomber was taken back to Berlin: a vivid, still flying piece of history, unique in the world today. And lt‘s important, because the airlift, too, was unique in the world.

After the accident a lot of people all over the world were really sad. Therefore I do thank you for your initiative to reconstruct our historical candy bomber. And I appeal to you: even under difficulties don‘t give up — we didn‘t!

I assure you – It‘s worthwhile fighting for this indestructible, reliable aircraft. It represents a story of historical success. The candy bomber then helped millions of people.

Now It‘s your turn to help our candy bomber to ‘wiggle its wings‘ again.

Yours,

Gail S. Halvorsen
(April 2011)

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