'Candy bomber' Gail Halvorsen returns to Berlin, 1984
Published: November 26, 2011
Stephanie James ©Stars and Stripes
Berlin, Germany, June 11, 1984: Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Gail S. Halvorsen, the famed "Candy Bomber," poses in front of a C-54 — the same type of plane he flew during the post-World War II Berlin airlift — during an air show at Tempelhof Airport. While Halvorsen was carrying out his mission of ferrying supplies into the blockaded city in 1949, he met a group of Berlin children and realized how much they savored the pieces of gum he gave them. On his next trip into the city, he attached bags of candy to three handkerchief parachutes and dropped them — against regulations — to the kids below; it was the start of what would later be dubbed Operation Little Vittles. Halvorsen was a dean of student affairs at Brigham Young University at the time of his 1984 visit to Berlin in conjunction with the 35th anniversary of the airlift.
A 1984 Stars and Stripes story about Col. Halvorsen's return to Berlin.