Who Delivered Chocolates to Children During the Cold War?

Leia Smith | 12 - 17 - 2020
Who Delivered Chocolates to Children During the Cold War

Gail Halvorson, an American pilot who was appointed in the Berlin airlift during the Berlin Blockade was the one who delivered candies to the kids from his airplane. 

What Is the Berlin Blockade?

It is a crisis that struck Berlin post World War II created by the Soviet as an attempt to wipe away the West Allies (The USA, UK, and France) from Berlin, Germany. All the rails, roads, and canal access for the Western Allies to access Berlin was blocked so that the Soviets could take control of Berlin. This restricted rivalry was called the Cold War. In 1948, the US decided to deliver food, water, and other supplies to the people of Berlin through airplanes. This is called the Berlin airlift and Gail Halvorson was one of the pilots who reached the city to deliver goods. 

Why Is Halvorson Called ‘Uncle Wiggly Wings’?

One day in Berlin when Halvorson was out in the streets, he handed the last two pieces of Wriggley’s double mint gum to the kids there. The kids divided those gums and shared it among themselves. They even passed on the wrapper for those kids who didn’t receive the gum just for them to smell. This act of sharing and kindness melted his heart. Halvorson promised that the next time he comes to Berlin, he’d offer more chocolates and candies and he kept his promise. And when the kids asked how they’d know that it was him coming to the aircraft, he said he’d wiggle the airplane’s wings once he reached. 

After Which War Did the Berlin Blockade Start?
  • A. World War I
  • B. World War II
  • C. Civil War
  • D. Napoleonic Wars

On Halvorson’s next visit, he dropped chocolates and candies from his airplane after of course rocking the tail of the aircraft. This is the reason he received the name Uncle Wiggly Wings. His chocolate rain continued for days and grew extremely popular among the kids. It also led to an operation by the American military called the Operation Vittles wherein chocolates would be dropped to the kids waiting in the runway. 


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