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Candy History: The Candy Bomber

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Gail Halvorsen Candy BomberIn 1948, Germany was being occupied by opposing forces: the Allies (including the United States and United Kingdom), and the Soviet Union. In one of the first events of the Cold War, the Soviet Union tried to gain control of Berlin by blocking the Western Allies from access to the city by train or road. The Allies began to drop food and other resources from planes to the blockaded parts of Berlin in what became known as The Berlin Airlift.

One pilot began to send his candy rations down to the children of Berlin, tied in tiny parachutes made of handkerchiefs. Gail Halvorsen, the pilot who dropped candy from his plane, would wiggle the wings of his plane as he flew over Berlin so the children would know there would be a candy drop. The German children began to call him “Uncle Wiggly Wings.” He would drop chocolate bars, gum, and raisins.

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