Sunday, December 19, 2010
Candy Bomber, by Michael O. Tunnell
Candy Bomber, The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot", by Michael O. Tunnell (2010, 104 pages).
This book is about a pilot who drops candy over East Berlin, so that the kids have a treat. You've probably heard of the second world war, and probably about the Berlin War...but here's some background information.After WW II, Germany was divided into 2 parts--the allies of Great Britain, the US, and France took one half, and the Soviet Union took the other. Berlin was in the Soviet half, East Germany, so the western alliance decided that Berlin should be split as well, into east and west halves. Then in 1948 the Soviets decided to starve out the West Berliners, and so giant aircraft started flying from the west to bring food to the western half, because there was no other way to get food into that part of the city.
Back to the story. One US pilot, Gail Halvorsen, saw a bunch of kids backed up against a fence on one of his missions. He saw that they wanted more than just food, so he gave them the only candy he had, two sticks of gum. To his surprise, they didn't fight over it--they broke into many pieces, to share. And he went back to his plane, and flew off.
He soon decided that he easily drop parachutes with candy attached, and so the candy bombing of West Berlin began. When he had candy to drop, he would wiggle the wings of his aircraft--and so Operation Viggles was underway. It brought happiness and hope to the children, many of whom still remembered the deadly bombs from the end of the war.
An excellent piece of non-fiction, with lots of information contained in both historic pictures and words. I greatly enjoyed reading this!