The Berlin Airlift

Sixty-five years ago, one of the most memorable and decisive campaigns in U.S. Air Force history began: the Berlin Airlift.

On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union halted all supplies into the city of West Berlin from Allied Forces. In response, the allies had to think of a plan to supply the city with food, water and fuel. That is when “Operation Vittles” known today as the Berlin Airlift, started.

This logistical feat carried in more than 3,000 tons of supplies per day to the people of Berlin; however, the United States and its allies were more than up for the task. More than 5,000 tons of supplies were delivered to Berlin a day and by the end of the operation that number reached 8,000 a day.

After realizing they could not stop this airlift campaign, the Soviet Union lifted the blockade and the people of Berlin could once again receive food and water through other means, like railway and motor vehicle.

“The Berlin Airlift showed the dedication of the United States to the massive humanitarian airlift operation,” said Col. David Julazadeh, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. “It was truly an amazing logistical aeronautical feat. It was really the first step in establishing the trans-Atlantic bridge.”

Julazadeh and other members of the 52nd attended a commemoration ceremony in Frankfurt to recognize the accomplishments of Airmen of that era, who flew out of places like Rhein-Main Air Base.

To see photos of the ceremony, visit the 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Flickr page here.

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