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"Candy bomber" pilot to be honored with a memorial in Berlin

Rosinenbomber-Pilot Halvorsen

Gail Halvorsen

The "Candy Bomber" pilot Gail Halvorsen is to be honored with a monument on Platz der Luftbrücke in Berlin-Tempelhof.

"Planning for the memorial has just begun," a Senate spokeswoman said on Thursday (May 12, 2022). Halvorsen's family agreed to the memorial project, she said. Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) had spoken to the family in February after Halvorsen's death at the age of 101 and asked how they felt about the idea of honoring the former Berlin Airlift pilot with a memorial.

Halvorsen's daughter welcomes monument honoring her father

Now, the response from Halvorsen's daughter, Denise Williams, has arrived at Berlin's City Hall. "In closing, I would like to say that we fully support the establishment of a memorial in honor of our father," she wrote to Giffey. "Such a memorial would be a visible reminder for all people to learn from the past and look to the future with hope."

Symbol of international solidarity during the Berlin Blockade

Halvorsen was one of the pilots who, a few years after the Second World War, supplied the western part of Berlin, which had been sealed off by the Soviet Union for ten months, with food and coal, among other things, by air. The blockade ended exactly 73 years ago, on May 12, 1949. It was Halvorsen's idea to also drop candy for children on small parachutes during the Berlin Airlift. As the "Candy Bomber," the young pilot became a symbol of the relief effort. His numerous awards included the Federal Cross of Merit.

Competition for the design of the monument planned

"Halvorsen's deeply human act has never been forgotten," Giffey said after his death in February. "He had many friends in our city and continued to come here throughout his life." There is no timetable yet for the memorial project, according to the Senate spokeswoman. "The planning is not there yet." She said the plan is to hold an ideas competition for the design of the memorial

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 12 May 2022
Last updated: 12 May 2022

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