Photography by Ian L. Sitren

Posts tagged “Berlin Airlift

Berlin Airlift 70 Years Ago

I really enjoy the purpose when my videos and photos get to share both excitement and history. Here with the Palm Springs Air Museum.

The Berlin Airlift 70 years ago started on June 24, 1948. From our Palm Springs Air Museum friend, Brooks Wachtel, Emmy Award Winner and Co-Creator of the epic History Channel series “DogFights”. More below…

“The Soviet Union began the Berlin Blockade. It was an attempt to gain control over the allied sections of the city by preventing food from reaching the inhabitants.

The allies answered with the largest airlift in history, flying in supplies on the gamble that the Soviets would not launch an overt and provocative attack on these aircraft.

By April, 1949, they were flying in more supplies than had previously been delivered by rail. In May the humiliated Soviets gave up and opened the land routes.”

In total, the USAF delivered 1,783,573 tons and the RAF 541,937 tons, nearly two-thirds of which was coal, on 278,228 flights to Berlin. The Royal Australian Air Force delivered 7,968 tons of freight and 6,964 passengers during 2,062 sorties. The C-47s and C-54s together flew over 92 million miles in the process, almost the distance from Earth to the Sun. At the height of the Airlift, one plane reached West Berlin every thirty seconds. Pilots came from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.

The C-47 “What’s Up Doc?” is a veteran of the Berlin Airlift. And right now in the air-conditioned hangars of the Palm Springs Air Museum where you can watch “Doc” undergoing it’s routine annual inpsection. That is something you will not see everyday. Check it out!

Operation Santa Claus

Yesterday Santa arrived at the Palm Springs Air Museum and even brought Mrs. Claus along to meet all the kids. Actually “Operation Santa Claus” started during the Berlin Airlift in 1948. The Soviet Union had blocked access to Western Sectors of Berlin cutting off food and supplies to the population. The Western Allies began an airlift of supplies with over 200,000 flights in just one year alone.

Then on December 20, 1948 “Operation Santa Claus” flew Christmas gifts to 10,000 Berlin children. The C-47 aircraft like this one was one of the primary aircraft used to bring supplies to the people of Berlin. The Palm Springs Air Museum is very proud to continue this tradition of bringing Santa Claus to the kids, traveling on an original C-47 aircraft.

Santa Arriving In His C-47 "What's Up Doc?"

Santa waving to the crowd arriving at the Palm Springs Air Museum

Santa Arriving In His C-47 "What's Up Doc?"

Santa arriving at the Palm Springs Air Museum

Santa And Mrs. Claus Arriving In His C-47 "What's Up Doc?"

Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving at the Palm Springs Air Museum

When You Have To Decide What Santa Should Bring You

That moment when you have to decide what Santa should bring you.

It Really Is Snow At The Palm Springs Air Museum

It really is snow at the Palm Springs Air Museum.