Berlin Airlift - USAF pilots' memories of Operation Vittles

Berlin Airlift pilots from the US Air Force tell the story of their part in one of the greatest humanitarian efforts in aviation history

Hope was quite a rare commodity amongst the people of Berlin in 1948. The scars caused by days and nights of Allied bombing and the final, bloody battle for the city in April-May 1945 remained savage. Large areas still lay in ruins, and full-scale reconstruction — physical and economic — seemed far off. But it was in the face of great adversity that hope came, and, with the collapse of the wartime alliance between the West and the USSR, signalled the start of a new world order. The Berlin Airlift was the first significant encounter of what became known as the Cold War, but by demonstrating the West’s resolve in standing firm against Soviet threats and avoiding the plunge into further armed conflict, it was to set the tone for the decades that followed.

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