On This Day in Aviation History: The Berlin Airlift Begins

At the height of WWII, food and living goods were scarce. Residents of cities were forced to scavenge in the streets for whatever they could find. In Berlin, this was especially true as the Soviets blockaded land and water routes into the city in an attempt to force the allies to surrender the city.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. General Curtis LeMay was called on to devise a plan to deliver food and living supplies to the residents of Berlin. The result of this planning was the Berlin Airlift. Some notable statistics from this operation were the total amounts of food needed – 1700 calories per person per day. 1534 US tons (1391.6 M Tons) were needed to keep the residents alive. 3475 US tons (3152.5 M tons) of coal were needed for electricity. At its height, the airlift saw a plane landing every 30 seconds. The Berlin Airlift concluded on September 30, 1949.

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