Activities of the Berlin Air Lift.
Aerial delivery of supplies to Berlin, July, 1948. British and American A/C and personnel hauling supplies. Good coverage of Tempelhof Air Field, Berlin. Arrival of Ambassador Douglas. Unloading of supplies from C-47′s and C-54′s. Loading of same. Some shots at Frankfurt, Germany. Conference of American and British military representatives.
RAFB (British), Gatow, Berlin. SWANEE LAKE A.F.B., BERLIN; TEMPEL HOF A.Y.B., BERLIN. General action at above bases as planes are loaded and unloaded. Good shots of airfields, trucks and man power used to keep the planes moving. A/C in film are the B-17, C-47, C-54 (stationary). B-17, C-47, C-54 (taxiing). B-17, C-47, C-54, (taking off). A/C (British) on the York & Sunderland. Scenes of British a/c stationary, taxiing and taking off. General scenes of unloading activity on all of the above air craft. Mr. Louis Douglas, U.S. ambassador to G.B., arrives at Tempelhof to confer with General Clay. Scenes of his arrival and welcome by Gen. Clay and honor guard. Large and small barges are used to move supply from the Sunderlands. German civilian laborers, British EM and American EM used to keep supplies moving. Officers entering and leaving base operations. Big sign, “USAF Station, Tempelhof”.
Int: An officer writing on a map; a baker pulling bread out of an oven; women buying bread at a bakery; pastry products on a counter. MLS: C-54′s on the ramp. Trucks moving about. MS: C-54′s being unloaded at the air dock. Int: Bakers putting bread in ovens to bake. MLS: A C-54 taxiing. Int:Pastry products in a bake shop. MS: Coal being unloaded from a C-54; truck backing up to a C-54. MC: General Lucias Clay greeting Ambassador Douglas. MLS: C-54′s parked on the field. MS: General Clay and Ambassador Douglas getting into a car. MLS: C-54′s parked on the field; trucks moving about aircraft in bg. Int: Ambassador Douglas talking to a group of men. MS: trucks coming in a gate. MLS: C-54′s parked on the field; C-54 taxiing. MS: A trailer truck loaded with supplies moving past camera — others being unloaded. MLS: C-54′s and C-47′s being unloaded.
The Berlin Blockade, from June 24, 1948 to May 12, 1949, was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War.
During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies’ railway, road and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control. Their alleged aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.
In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin.
The United States Air Force and the British Royal Air Force flew over 200,000 flights in one year, providing up to 4700 tons of daily necessities such as fuel and food to the Berliners.
On June 24, 1948 LeMay appointed Brigadier General Joseph Smith, headquarters commandant for USAFE at Camp Lindsey, as the Provisional Task Force Commander of the airlift. Smith had been chief of staff in LeMay’s B-29 command in India during World War II and had no airlift experience. On June 25, 1948 Clay gave the order to launch Operation Vittles. The next day thirty-two C-47s lifted off for Berlin hauling 80 tons of cargo, including milk, flour, and medicine. The first British aircraft flew on June 28. At that time, the airlift was expected to last three weeks.
Department of Defense. Department of the Air Force.
ARC Identifier 65508 / Local Identifier 342-USAF-17643.