William H. Tunner's Black The Berlin Airlift

Decent Essays
the transports would have to deliver not only food, but coal for heating. The bags of coal would be bulky and take up most of a plane’s space. As the airlift’s operation increased it exceeded General Smith’s capability. As a result, the duties of running the airlift were given to the Military Air Transport Service and a new commander Major General William H. Tunner. General Tunner had previously operated an aerial supply line during World War II that crossed the Himalayas, from India to China. After taking over the airlift, Tunner and his staff toured the bases to see what was going on. They discovered the flight and maintenance schedules to be inadequate for this type of operation. This became very obvious to Tunner on August 13, 1948 or ‘Black …show more content…
Many human interest stories came out of the airlift. John Provan told the story of an airlift pilot and a 13 year old boy who lived in Weisbaden. ‘The boy had just received word that his mother, who lived in Berlin, had suffered a heart attack. The boy managed to pass the guards and make his way to an aircraft, when a pilot discovered him.’ Provan continued, ‘He told his story to the pilot, who realized the boy was telling the truth. Making sure no supervisors were watching, the pilot lifted the lad into the aircraft and said: ‘Make yourself comfortable, son. In two hours you’ll be in Berlin.’ The most famous human interest story is that of airlift pilot First Lieutenant Gail Halverson. He was one of the American pilots flying round-the-clock missions from Rhein-Main Air Base to Templehof. One day he was at Templehof filming aircraft landings when he met a group of German children. He used his limited German to greet them and then answered their questions about the airlift with help of some of the children who knew English. Halverson talked to them for an hour before he realized that none of them had asked him for anything. He said in his autobiography, The Berlin Candy Bomber, ‘Hitler’s past and Stalin’s future was their nightmare. American-style freedom was their dream. They knew what freedom was about. They said someday we’ll have enough to eat, but if we lose our freedom, we’ll …show more content…
The U.S. Air Force had transported 1,422,000 tons of coal, 296,000 tons of food and 65,000 of miscellaneous goods for a total of 1,783,573 tons. Another 542,000 tons of cargo was delivered by the British Royal Air Force. A total of 75,000 people, both military and civilian were involved in making the airlift a success.
The Berlin Airlift was the first time a large scale military air transport was used to accomplish diplomatic objectives. ‘Not only did the Soviet Union suffer the defeat of the Blockade breaking, but the Allies had witnessed a change in attitude by the Germans themselves. Before, the Allies had been considered, a Besatzungsmacht (an Army of Occupation).’ When the airlift was over the Germans considered the Allies not as enemies, but as

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