Story by Josiah Wilson, Defense Media Activity
65 years ago today the Berlin Airlift began, bringing millions of tons of food and supplies to German citizens living the in the isolated, Allied-occupied sector of West Berlin.
During this time of the Cold War, the Soviet Union occupied East Berlin with hopes of controlling the whole city. They attempted to reach this end by blocking food and supplies from West Berlin in hopes that the population would starve, businesses would fail and residents would turn to the East Berlin Soviets for assistance. In response to this, the Truman administration joined with Allied forces to organize the Berlin Airlift and bring supplies by airplane to the western part of the city. With only two runways in West Berlin to work with, Allied forces devised a flight plan that delivered millions of tons of food and supplies to West Berliners for over a year.
Retired Navy veteran Charles Devonshire was a pilot during the Berlin Airlift. In this interview with the Air Mobility Command Museum, he gives an account of his experiences during this unique humanitarian mission.
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