Operation “Little Vittles”
In July 1948 Berlin Airlift pilot Gail Halvorsen began handing out and later dropping candy via handkerchief parachutes to the children who had gathered to watch at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport. With the approval of superiors and the support of confectionery companies, “Operation Little Vittles” was born and “Candy Bombers” and “Raisin Bombers” began dropping care packages to the children of Berlin.
50 years ago - JFK in Berlin
On June 26, 1963, John F. Kennedy stood at Rudolph Wilde Platz (now John F. Kennedy Platz) in West Berlin to deliver one of his most well-known speeches. His visit to the divided city followed appearances across Germany, from Bonn to Cologne, to Frankfurt. In Berlin, 120,000 people gathered to listen to President Kennedy deliver his remarks:
“Freedom is indivisible and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe…
All free men, wherever they may live, are Citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’”
From the JFK Library
"Ich bin ein Berliner"
President John F. Kennedy’s Remarks at the Berlin Rathaus Reading Cards June 26, 1963
50 years ago on June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of his most memorable speeches that electrified an adoring crowd gathered in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Almost 2 years after the construction of the Berlin Wall and 15 years after the Berlin Airlift, Kennedy paid tribute to the spirit of Berliners with his pronouncement of solidarity: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner).
Although Kennedy deviated from his notes and improvised much of his speech, he spelled out his pivotal phrase phonetically on this note card.
Private First Class Lawrence Bartlett, Niagara Falls, New York, examines the four fallen lions which once adorned the top of the Siegestor, built by King Ludwig I, in 1844-1852 in tribute to the Bavarian Army. Munich, Germany, June 13, 1945.
Choked with debris, a bombed water intake of the Pegnitz River no longer supplies war factories in Nuremberg, vital Reich industrial city and festival center of the Nazi party, which was captured April 20, 1945, by troops of the U.S. Army.
A German Fate At The Fence Of Barbed Wire
Some of our followers may recognize these photos from when we first posted them on the 50th anniversary of Berlin Wall in August of 2011: Making the Impossible Decision. With their family unexpectedly divided by the fledgling Berlin Wall, the mother makes a split-second decision to pass her son over the wire to her husband during a momentary lapse by the border guards.
Do you know who this family is?
Second Lieutenant George E. Stone, Signal Corps, United States Army, in charge Fourth Army Corps Photo Unit. Cochem, Germany., 01/09/1919
Flying deep into Germany
Dated August 17, 1943, this chart outlines the routes to and from the targets of the first American deep-penetration bombing raid of World War II: the ball-bearing factories of Schweinfurt and the Messerschmitt aircraft factory in Regensburg. Also noted are encounters with anti-aircraft fire or “flak” and engagements with various types of German aircraft. 60 of 376 aircraft were lost on this mission.
PFC Gladys Bellon, Basile, Louisiana, one of the 27 WAC switchboard operators flown from Paris for the Potsdam Conference and Sgt. Robert Scott of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, test lines in the frame room of the Victory switchboard at U. S. headquarters at Babelsburg, Germany., 07/15/1945
Escaping with secrets of the German submarines
On May 31, 1918, the German submarine U-90 attacked and sank the USS President Lincoln. U.S. Navy Lieutenant Edouard V.M. Isaacs was captured and taken prisoner. While a prisoner on board the submarine, Isaacs managed to gather information about German submarine movements for the United States. Lt. Isaacs eventually escaped from a prison camp in Germany and brought Germany’s submarine secrets back to the Allies. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.
The citation that accompanied his award is shown, along with excerpts from his detailed report on his capture, imprisonment and escape.
"It is difficult to know how to begin. By this time I have recovered from my first emotional shock and am able to write without sounding like a hysterical gibbering idiot."
On the day that Germany signed the unconditional surrender, Harold Porter wrote this letter to his parents describing the conditions in the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany.
Page one shown, read the entire letter in our online catalog.
The unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich was signed in the early morning hours of Monday, May 7, 1945 at Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters in Reims by Gen. Alfred Jodl, Chief of Staff of the German Army. At the same time, he signed three other surrender documents, one each for Great Britain, Russia, and France.
(Top) - German officers sign unconditional surrender in Reims, France. (Bottom) - Allied force leaders at the signing., 05/07/1945