Tunnell brings to life a little-known post-World War II story. What started as a single pilot’s car tour of bombed-out Berlin turned into an international campaign to help lighten the suffering of the children of West Berlin.
The time was 1948, and the Soviet Union had closed all land access to the isolated Free World sectors of West Berlin in an attempt to starve the people into accepting Communist rule. On an impulse, a C-54 cargo pilot, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen, shared the only two sticks of gum he had with a group of about 30 children.
What started as a somewhat clandestine candy-dropping operation by Halvorsen and his buddies eventually became a USAF-sanctioned operation. As the airlift of food and fuel continued for almost two years, tons of candy were dropped (using tiny parachutes) for the children who waited in the flight path below.
The text is liberally illustrated with black-and-white photos, copies of letters, and a diagram of how the flight patterns worked. The book concludes with extensive biographical, historical, and author’s notes. This is a real treat – a World War II title with a happy ending.