Candy Bomber Revisits Berlin - C. 17 Dec 2012

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Candy Bomber Revisits Berlin - C. 17 Dec 2012 - USAF/Candy Bomber'Revisits Berlin firm, set,...
USAF/Candy Bomber'Revisits Berlin firm, set, department BDRLIN (AP) -The "Candy Bomber" came back to Berlin last week, revisiting the city where his handkerchief parachutes of sweets are still remembered from the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift. "It's really great to be back," said former U.S. Air Force Col. Gail S. Halvor- sen, beaming from behind the controls of a refurbished C54 transport he flew here five years ago to be'used as an airlift memorial. Halvorsen, 56, now a student services officer at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, made 128 flights during the airlift that kept West Berlin supplied during the 19-month Soviet blockade of land routes to the city. A South Atlantic transport pilot during World War II, Halvorsen volunteered for airlift dutv in 1948. His career as the "Candy Bomber" began after he shared two sticks of chewing gum with a group of sweest-hungry children. "Those who didn't get the gum insisted on smelling (he wrappers," he recalled. "It was then 1 knew 1 had to do more." On his next flight, he started dipping his wings as a signal and then dropping candy in handkerchief parachutes. He bought the candy with his own ration card and used his own handkerchiefs. "We were worried about g e t t i n g e n o u g h h a n d - kerchiefs to continue, so we inscribed a note asking the children to turn the parachutes over to the military police," he said. Even, though Berliners .were making clothing out of flour sacks in those days, eight of the first 12 parachutes were returned the same day. Halvorsen-style airdrops caught on with other airlift pilots and attracted at- tention in the United Stales. "One day the military police took me to a railroad spur and told.me that a boxcar with 3.000 pounds of candy had arrived for me from" the United Stales," he said. Eventually the amount of c a n d y -- a n d t h e parachute-making reached such proportions that 50 tons of sweets were simply flown Campers Convention DU QUOIN, 111. (UPI) - Seven states hosted the 1977 annual .convention of the National Campers and Hikers Association which attracted 2,222 units to the D u Q u o i n S t a t e Fairgrounds. all the way into the city distribution. Halvorsen won the Air Force's Cheney Award liumanitarianism in 1949 and later returned to Berlin as commander of Air Force facility at Tem- pelhof Airport. He left Berlin in 1974. SENKA HOME SERVICE Steam Carpet, Furni- ture Cleaning, Win- dow Cleaning and Wall Washing. Phone 729-1666

Clipped from
  1. The Cumberland News,
  2. 22 Sep 1977, Thu,
  3. Page 7

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  • Candy Bomber Revisits Berlin - C. 17 Dec 2012

    cj5eckstein – 17 Dec 2012

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