Gail Halvorsen who was popularly known as Candy Bomber has passed away. After World War II, the US airman was known for his unique supply drops in Germany. Now, it is reported that he died on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. The news was shared by the Gail Halvorsen Aviation Education Foundation on Facebook. It was said that the airman breathed his last at the age of 101 and at the time of his death, he was surrounded by his family. They also shared that Halvorsen suffered a brief illness which eventually became the cause of his death.
During the 15-month Berlin Airlift after World War II, Gail gained fame and the popular nickname of “Candy Bomber”. Several planes were flown across Germany by the Western Allies daily to drop critical supplies into West Berlin. As per reports, the area was blockaded by the Soviet Union. While doing so, Gail met some children. The airman promised them to deliver candy and since then he started dropping chocolates which he attached to tiny improvised parachutes plane.
Halvorsen had stated in 2009 that two million people in Berlin needed food mostly children and women. Gail said that he felt so good about helping the former enemy because they were grateful. As the US airman continued dropping candies, he gained the aforementioned nickname and started getting to know by the said name only. Besides, the young Berliners also used to call him “Chocolate Uncle” while Gail received stacks of mails with thanks and requests.
In Utah, Halvorsen spent most of his youth and years after his retirement. Even though he has turned 101, Gail’s death has still affected his loved ones. The state’s governor mourned his loss on Thursday. The state governor Spencer Cox issued a written statement where he said that they mourn his loss but celebrate his legacy and exemplary life. He added that Halvorsen was an international hero who demonstrated extraordinary kindness and compassion during a very dark time in world history.
The German Embassy in the United States also took to Twitter on Thursday to share a post. They thanked Gail for his kindness. In 2014, Gail had received a Congressional Gold Medal as a member of the Civil Air Patrol. The foundation addressed Gail as a man of a deep and certain faith. It was added that Halvorsen had faith in God, in his country, and his friends. Our team pays sincere tribute to Gail Halvorsen.
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