(Image: KSL News)
From 1948-49, West Berlin was blockaded by the Soviet Union, which hoped to force the three Western occupying powers out of the city. In response, the air forces of the Western powers delivered essential supplies, including food and fuel, by air. The year-long Berlin Airlift kept West Berliners alive and free.
One of US Air Force pilots who participated in the deliveries was Lt. Gail Halvorsen. He wanted to provide some joy to the beleaguered children of West Berlin, so he began secretly dropping pieces of candy from tiny, handmade parachutes over the city, just before landing. Thus Halvorsen became known as the Candy Bomber.
That was 67 years ago. Halvorsen is now 92. He still flies now and then, including on Friday afternoon, when he dropped 1,000 chocolate bars on children in a park in Orem, Utah.
The airdrop was made as part of a 3-day celebration for the Fourth of July. Halvorsen was a guest of honor at that celebration. When asked what the holiday means to him, Halvorsen replied, "The Fourth of July reminds me that if you want happiness in life, you serve others."