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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Here's a Story I'd Never Heard


Subject: Here's a Story I'd Never Heard

What kind of war would it be if the planes dropped candy instead of bombs?
In WWII, the U.S. had some planes that did just that. And not for reasons one might think! Meet Gail Halvorsen. He wanted to help raise the morale of the children during the time of uncertainty and privation.
Halvorsen started by giving a few treats to children watching the planes from outside the Tempelhof base. Wanting to give more, he promised to drop more candy from his plane the next day. Because the planes would arrive nearly every three minutes, the children naturally couldn't distinguish his aircraft from the others. However, Halvorsen promised to wiggle the wings to identify himself, which led to his nickname "Onkel Wackelfl├╝gel" ("Uncle Wiggly Wings"). The other American candy bombers became known as the Rosinenbombers (Raisin Bombers). Halvorsen's initiative drew the attention of the operation's commanding officer, Lieutenant General William H. Tunner, who approved of it and ordered it expanded into Operation Little Vittles.
The operation was soon noticed by the press and gained widespread attention. A wave of public support led to donations which enabled Halvorsen and his crew to drop 850 pounds of candy. By the end of the airlift, around 25 plane crews had dropped 23 tons of chocolate, chewing gum, and other candies over various places in Berlin. The Confectioners Association of America donated large amounts to the effort, and American school children cooperated in attaching the candies to parachutes.
Colonel Gail Halvorsen (born October 10, 1920) is a retired career officer and command pilot in the United States Air Force known as the original Candy Bomber or the "Rosinenbomber" in Germany.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Candy_Bomber

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