Heather's Reviews > Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot"

Candy Bomber by Michael O. Tunnell
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's review
Sep 23, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: children, biography, germany, history, non-fiction, war, wwii, awards-orbis-pictus
Read from September 22 to 23, 2011

2011 Orbis Pictus Honor

After WWII was over, Germany was divided between the U. S., Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. The capital city of Berlin was also divided even though it was in Soviet territory. Since the Soviets wanted the whole city for themselves, they blockaded ally-occupied West Berlin thinking that they would starve the citizens into giving up their freedom. It didn't work, however--the U. S. and Britain began the Berlin Airlift to bring supplies in by plane and keep the citizens going.

Lt. Gail Halvorsen was one of the pilots, and he began an operation that would connect him to those children of Berlin for the rest of his life--he dropped candy out of his plane for them, something so precious and rare in Berlin in those days that it couldn't be bought with money and was often used to barter for things on the black market. This book covers how that operation began with the giving away of two sticks of gum and expanded to many pilots dropping tons of candy for the war-stricken people. The author uses photographs and letters from Halvorsen's personal collection to illustrate the book and includes sources and notes about the historical context of the Berlin Airlift. It concludes with an index.

This man's caring and kindness was so moving to me that I must have cried about every ten pages. What an amazing legacy.

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