SENATE RESOLUTION 634--COMMEMORATING THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BERLIN AIRLIFT AND HONORING THE VETERANS OF OPERATION VITTLES; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 155
(Senate - September 18, 2018)

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SENATE RESOLUTION 634--COMMEMORATING THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BERLIN 
         AIRLIFT AND HONORING THE VETERANS OF OPERATION VITTLES

  Mr. RISCH (for himself, Mrs. Shaheen, and Mr. Johnson) submitted the 
following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign 
Relations:

                              S. Res. 634

       Whereas in the spring of 1948, Berlin was isolated within 
     the Soviet occupation zone, and there were only 35 days' 
     worth of food and 45 days' worth of coal remaining for the 
     city;
       Whereas military planners in the United States and the 
     United Kingdom determined that--
       (1) 1,534 tons of flour, wheat, fish, milk, and other food 
     items would be required daily to feed the 2,000,000 residents 
     of Berlin; and
       (2) 3,475 tons of coal and gasoline would be required daily 
     to keep the city of Berlin heated and powered;
       Whereas on June 1, 1948, the United States Air Force 
     created the Military Air Transport Service, the predecessor 
     to the Air Mobility Command, to organize and conduct airlift 
     missions;
       Whereas on June 26, 1948, Operation Vittles began when 32 
     C-47 Dakotas of the United States Air Force departed West 
     Germany for Berlin hauling 80 tons of cargo;
       Whereas the first British aircraft involved in Operation 
     Vittles launched on June 28, 1948;
       Whereas Major General William H. Tunner, a veteran of the 
     aerial supply line over the Himalayas during World War II, 
     took command of Operation Vittles on July 28, 1948;
       Whereas Major General Tunner pioneered many new and 
     innovative tactics and procedures for the airlift, including 
     creating air corridors for ingress and egress, staggering the 
     altitudes at which aircraft flew, and implementing instrument 
     flight rules that allowed aircraft to land as frequently as 
     every 3 minutes;
       Whereas one pilot, 1st Lieutenant Gail S. Halvorsen, who 
     became known as the ``Candy Bomber'', initiated Operation 
     Little Vittles to bring hope to the children of Berlin by 
     dropping handkerchief parachutes containing chocolate and 
     chewing gum as a symbol of the goodwill of the United States;
       Whereas Operation Little Vittles ultimately dropped more 
     than 3 tons of candy in more than 250,000 miniature 
     parachutes;
       Whereas on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1949, airlifters 
     reached the pinnacle of Operation Vittles by delivering 
     13,000 tons of cargo, including the equivalent of 600 
     railroad cars full of coal, and setting the record for 
     tonnage of cargo delivered in a single day during the Berlin 
     Airlift;
       Whereas 39 British airmen and 31 American airmen made the 
     ultimate sacrifice during the Berlin Airlift and 8 British 
     aircraft and 17 American aircraft were lost;
       Whereas airlifters delivered more than 2,300,000 tons of 
     food and supplies during 278,228 total flights into Berlin;
       Whereas the Soviet Union was forced to lift the blockade of 
     Berlin in light of the success of the 15-month airlift 
     operation;
       Whereas the Berlin Airlift marked the first use of airpower 
     to provide hope and humanitarian assistance and to win a 
     strategic victory against enemy aggression and intimidation;
       Whereas the enormous effort and cooperation of the Berlin 
     Airlift helped overcome years of animosity between the United 
     States and Germany and laid the foundation for a deep and 
     lasting friendship between the people of the two countries; 
     and
       Whereas today Germany is one of the closest and strongest 
     allies of the United States in Europe, based on the close and 
     vital relationship of the two countries as friends, trading 
     partners, and allies sharing common values and institutions 
     that promote stability in political, economic, and security 
     matters: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) recognizes the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, 
     the largest and longest running humanitarian airlift 
     operation in history;
       (2) honors the service and sacrifice of the men and women 
     who participated in and supported the Berlin Airlift;
       (3) applauds the men and women of the Air Mobility Command 
     of the United States Air Force, who, in keeping with the best 
     traditions of the Berlin Airlift, still work diligently to 
     provide hope, save lives, and deliver freedom around the 
     world in support of the foreign policy objectives of the 
     United States; and
       (4) commends the close friendship forged between the people 
     of the United States and Germany through the Berlin Airlift, 
     which helps sustain the transatlantic alliance to this day.

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