UTAH

Utahn helps non-profit with modern day “Candy Bomber” operation

Nov 23, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Nov 25, 2022, 8:49 am

Gail Halvorsen, the Berlin Candy Bomber, poses for a photo in the backyard of his Provo home days b...

Gail Halvorsen, the Berlin Candy Bomber, poses for a photo in the backyard of his Provo home days before his 100th birthday. (Photo credit: Lee Benson, Deseret News)

(Photo credit: Lee Benson, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — In memory of Gail Halvorsen, aka “The Candy Bomber,” a fundraiser named Operation Engel hopes to supply Christmas presents to refugee children in Berlin and Ukraine, including two pediatric hospitals in Ukraine.

Cynthia Merrell, who partnered with the non-profit called Spendenbrucke, would like to fill a plane from Salt Lake City with candy, small toys, hats, gloves, and mittens. In an Interview with KSL NewsRadio, Merrell said she’d ideally like to have all donations by Dec. 9. 

“It’s a modern-day Candy Bomb,” said Merrell. “When they get those boxes, we’re hoping it will create a memory.”

Also, she hopes the children know that halfway around the world they’re thought of. 

From Salt Lake City, the shipment will go to Amsterdam where Spendenbrucke will put items into Christmas boxes to be distributed to children.

If you are interested in donating, click here.

About the “Candy Bomber” and Berlin Airlift

Halvorsen, who airdropped candy during the Berlin Airlift, passed away earlier this year in Utah, his home state. Before he became known as the “Candy Bomber,” Halvorsen trained as a fighter pilot and served during World War II. After the war, he began flying food and other supplies to West Berlin, as part of the airlift. 

The Berlin Airlift resulted after the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin from all road and rail travel. The airlift began on June 24, 1948, and lasted until May 12, 1949

During one of his airlifts, he met a group of children behind a fence at the Templehof airport where he promised to deliver candy to them the following day. Halvorsen delivered, as promised, using handkerchiefs as parachutes to ensure a safe landing. 

In nearly a year, more than 200,000 American planes carried in more than 1.5 million tons of supplies. Once the Soviets ended the blockade, West Germany became a separate and independent nation, proving a massive failure for the Russians. 

Related reading: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

Snelgrove Ice Cream with its iconic sign at 2100 South 1300 East in Sugar House....

ELIZA PACE, KSL TV

Snelgrove Ice Cream, an iconic Salt Lake City brand, is making its comeback

Snelgrove Ice Cream is coming back. This ice cream shop was founded on 1929 by Charles Rich Snelgrove in Salt Lake City. Now, founder's granddaughter is opening back a store in St. George.

8 hours ago

Quagga mussels...

Don Brinkerhoff

Owners of non-motorized watercraft in Utah required to train on quagga mussel prevention

Before you launch your boat in Utah this summer, a new law requires you to take an online training course about the prevention of quagga mussels.

8 hours ago

New fire restrictions are now in effect in southwest Utah and northwest Arizona as "rapidly increas...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah, Arizona enact new restrictions amid ‘rapidly increasing fire danger’

New fire restrictions are now in effect in Utah and Arizona as "rapidly increasing fire danger" builds at the start of summer.

10 hours ago

police look for hit-and-run driver, image of the car, a newer model Ford Explorer SUV , shown...

Heather Peterson

SLCPD asks for help finding hit-and-run driver

Salt Lake City Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver involved in an accident last week that left a woman severely injured.

10 hours ago

'Thelma' is based on a true story where a grandma was scammed....

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Thelma’ is amazing and amusing

In this KSL Movie Show review, we talk about 'Thelma,' the amazing and amusing movie based on a true story about a grandmother being scammed.

11 hours ago

A car is filled at a gas pump in Sandy on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Utah gas prices are currently be...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Utah gas prices below national average in time for summer season

Utah gas prices are below the national average price for gas and the prices are expected to stay that way over the summer.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Utahn helps non-profit with modern day “Candy Bomber” operation