Wednesday, September 18, 2013

California Capital Airshow Honors the Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift

“When the sky rained Hershey bars”

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – September 17, 2013 - The California Capital Airshow (CCA), presented by Sacramento County, today announced it will honor the 65th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, the largest humanitarian aid effort in history.  The Airlift will be commemorated during both days of the Show, October 5-6, 2013 at Mather Airport.

The Berlin Airlift Tribute will honor the quiet heroes who played an integral role in this monumental event, bringing together the pilots, aircraft, and German aid recipients from an important period in history.

“The CCA team is excited to share this historical event with Sacramento, and celebrate the contributions of these unsung heroes,” said Darcy Brewer, executive director of the California Capital Airshow. “The courageous men and women you will meet at the 2013 Show are remarkable examples of those who could put the war behind them and selflessly save a city from starvation.”

During 1948 and 1949, the world watched as the war-torn city of Berlin, Germany, was cut off from outside supplies of food and fuel by a Soviet Union blockade, designed to dominate the city. In a gallant and strategic manner, a flight took off every six minutes, 24 hours a day for over a year; often in fog, clouds, rain and ice to ensure the survival of over 2 million people in the city of Berlin. In a span of 15 months, with over 277,000 flights, the United States delivered 2.3 million tons of food, clothing, water, medicine and fuel. Although the life-saving supplies were welcomed by more than 2 million residents, what younger survivors remember most is that the “sky rained Hershey bars.”

US Air Force pilots pioneered the idea of dropping candy bars and chewing gum with handmade handkerchief parachutes while ‘wiggling’ their wings, which alerted the children they were about to receive treats. When news reached the United States that pilots were dropping candy to the young people of Germany, children all over America sent in their own candy to help with the mission. Soon major manufacturers joined in, and by the end, over three tons of candy was dropped on Berlin and ‘Operation Little Vittles’ became a major success.

The C-54E Skymaster, an actual aircraft used during the Airlift will be on display and fly the Tribute performance each day, narrated by Lt. Col. Jon Huggins, USAF.    As the grand finale, parachutists from the Red Bull Air Force will jump from the C-54E with candy “goodies” for the crowd.  Numerous participants from the Airlift will take part in the Tribute along with individuals who were children in Berlin at the time.

The Airshow would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous contributions and partnerships: Sacramento County, City of Rancho Cordova, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Budweiser, Sacramento Jet Center, Kaiser Permanente, PG&E, SAFE Credit Union, and Fox40.

The CCA will be all things “shiny, fast and loud” for all ages and so much more! Tickets are now available online and can be easily purchased at the Airshow web site,  The Airshow web site will be updated regularly with news, attraction information and more. Fans can follow the Airshow on Facebook and Twitter (#calcapairshow), and now on Instragram (@capitalairshow). High-resolution images are available on the website photo gallery.

About California Capital Airshow
Established in 2004, the California Capital Airshow has become one of the largest and highly- respected shows in the nation. As part of its community relations, the non-profit organization has awarded over 80 scholarships to deserving students from our region with an interest in aviation, aerospace, aeronautics and related fields. For more information about the California Capital Airshow, presented by Sacramento County, please visit

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