August 30, 2016 – 10:44 am
Airlift honored
RHEIN-MAIN AIR BASE, Germany - Retired Lt. Col. Gail Halvorsen, the famed "Candy Bomber" of the Berlin Airlift fields questions from reporters here. The colonel - who has had a 57-year relationship with the airlift base - attended the base's closing ceremony Oct. 10. The Air Force will turn the base over to the Frankfurt Airport Authority in December, 60 years after operations started here. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. John E. Lasky)
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Retired Col. Gail S. Halvorsen, also known as the "Candy Bomber, " shows children at the Pope Air Force Base, N.C., school age program how to make a parachute attached to a chocolate bar, much like those he dropped from his aircraft almost 60 years ago. He also signed copies of "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, " a book about a little girl living in Berlin during the Berlin Airlift. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ed Drohan)
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Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen, assigned to the Berlin Airlift during 1948-1949, later became known as the Berlin Candy Bomber. This small gesture of kindness blossomed into a major goodwill effort supported by the Air Force and many other organizations in the United States.
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OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN - Retired Col. Gail Halvorsen and his wife, Lorraine, inspect a stuffed bear before it was dropped Dec. 21 during the 50th anniversary flights of Christmas Drop. For 50 years people at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, have gathered Christmas gifts and supplies to be airdropped to Pacific islanders. A C-130 Hercules and crew from Yokota Air Base Japan, did the duty this year, delivering the goods to the islands of Anatahan, Agrihan, and Alamgan, which are north of Guam. Among the cargo dropped was rice, fishing gear, and machetes.Dropping in for Christmas Halvorsen is the famed "Candy Bomber" who dropped candy to the children of Berlin during the Berlin Airlift. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Strang)
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One of the many American pilots to fly the USAF C-54 Skymaster during the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 ("Operation Vittles") was Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen of Provo, Utah. During the operation he became known as the "Candy Bomber" because he repeatedly dropped candy to German children from his aircraft on approach to the runways.

The idea grew out of a chance meeting between Halvorsen and several German school children at the perimeter fence of Tempelhof Airport. While waiting for his aircraft to be unloaded one day he decided to walk to the end of the runway and photograph other C-54s making their landing approach to the runway, a tricky descent over several buildings outside the Tempelhof grounds.


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