MILITARY

Utah Lawmakers recommending ‘Candy Bomber’ receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Dec 19, 2019, 9:56 AM | Updated: 10:28 am
candy bomber...
Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen, known commonly as the "Berlin Candy Bomber" stands in front of C-54 Skymaster like the one he flew during WWII at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Arizona. Halvorsen dropped candy bars attached to parachutes made from handkerchiefs to German children watching the airlift operations from outside the fence of the Tempelhof Airport in West Berlin. As word of his personal humanitarian mission spread to the United States donations of thousands of pounds of candy and hundreds of handkerchiefs and other pieces of scrap cloth reached him. By January 1949, more than 250,000 small parachutes with treats attached were dropped. For his actions Halvorsen received the 1948 Cheney Award "... for an act of valor, extreme fortitude, or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian interest." (U.S. Air Force photo/Bennie J. Davis III)
(U.S. Air Force photo/Bennie J. Davis III)

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of Utah’s congressional delegation want President Donald Trump to honor Utah’s “Candy Bomber” with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Ret. Col. Gail Halvorsen is best known for his actions over 70 years ago as a pilot delivering aid, supplies and even candy to war-torn Germany as part of the Cold War-era Berlin Airlift. He became known as Onkel Wackelflugel or Uncle Wiggly Wings to countless German children and as the Candy Bomber to the rest of the world.

Born in Salt Lake City, Halvorsen is a 98-year-old man who attended Utah State University in addition to his service overseas.

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, wrote about the push for the medal on Twitter.

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Utah Lawmakers recommending ‘Candy Bomber’ receive Presidential Medal of Freedom