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Candy Bomber Returns to Dare County Airport for 19th Annual Candy Drop

Post Date:11/28/2018 3:16 PM
  • Contact Dare County Airport
  • Phone252.475.5570

On Thursday, December 13, the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s C-54/R5-D aircraft The Spirit of Freedom will return to the Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo for a weekend of festivities. Children and their families are invited to the airport on Sunday, December 16 for the 19th Annual Candy Drop.

There will be two candy drops on Sunday, December 16; ages 6 and younger at 1:00 p.m. and ages 7 and older at 1:30 p.m. Santa will fly into the Dare County Airport at 2:00 p.m. and will be available for photos. The Spirit of Freedom will be on display and available for touring until 5 p.m. This is a free family-friendly event.

On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked access to the three Western-held sectors of Berlin, which was deep within the Soviet zone of Germany, by cutting off all rail and road routes going through Soviet-controlled territory in Germany. On June 25 the order was given to launch a massive airlift using both civil and military aircraft that flew supplies into the Western-held sectors of Berlin over the blockade during 1948–1949, ultimately lasting 462 days. This aerial supply of West Berlin became known as the Berlin Airlift. One of the many American pilots to fly the USAF C-54 Skymaster during the Berlin Airlift was Lieutenant Gail S. Halvorsen (age 96) of Provo, Utah.  During the operation, he became known as the "Candy Bomber" because he repeatedly dropped candy to German children from his aircraft on approach to the runways. Throughout the entire blockade over 23 tons of candy was dropped to Berlin children. The candy drop operations may have had a substantial impact on the postwar perception of Americans in Germany, and it is still pointed to as a symbol of German-American relations.

The Spirit of Freedom will also participate in the flyover at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at 10:35 a.m. on Monday, December 17 during the 115th Anniversary Event for the Wright Brothers’ First Flight achievement.

For more information please call the Dare County Airport at 475-5570.  

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