Berlin

The Return of the Candy Bombers

04 Jun 2019
Genuine ‘once in a lifetime’ events don’t come around too often (hence the whole ‘once in a lifetime’ thing), so we’re extra excited to talk about this historic occasion. June 10-16 sees The Return of the Candy Bombers, as 30 aircraft from around Europe, Russia and the United States return to four airfields in Germany to commemorate the 70th anniversary of spontaneous humanity in most sensitive times.

Hold on, candy bombers? It all happened in 1949, when West Berlin was suffering under the post-World War II Soviet Blockade. Allied planes were airlifting supplies into the city, a much-needed but fairly practical state of affairs. Without prompting, a US pilot by the name of Gail Halverson (known as Uncle Wiggly Wings, which is a little bit sinister) began dropping chocolate bars attached to handkerchiefs, bringing small bits of sugary cheer to the children of West Berlin.

The practice soon caught on, and Allied planes began dropping sweets, candies, raisins and other treats attached to little parachutes. The gesture was relatively small in the grand scheme of things, but went a long way to improving relations between Germany and the Allies. Every little helps.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of this event, and while many of the aircraft involved are now lost to history there are a few still functioning. 30 will be showcased around Germany this June, for what will almost certainly be the very last time in history. A whole host of public events will also take place during what will be a thrilling and emotional week of remembrance. 

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