At age 99, ‘Candy Bomber’ will return to OBX

By on November 6, 2019

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As a child living in Berlin Germany Karin Edmond experienced the story of the “Candy Bomber,” Gail Halvorsen, firsthand. And during First Friday in Manteo on Friday, Nov. 1, Edmond was out trying to raise some funds to organize and support the 21st annual Candy Drop in Manteo scheduled for December 15. 

The now-famous story of the Candy Bomber began during the allies’ Berlin Airlift after the Soviet Union imposed a blockade in June 1948, when one U.S.  pilot took the airlift a step further. Touched by the suffering of the residents of West Berlin, U.S. Air Force First Lieutenant (later Colonel) Gail Halvorsen wanted to do something to raise the spirits of the children.

By the time the airlift effort was over, Halvorsen and other pilots who joined with him, had dropped 20 tons of candy over Berlin to German children, and shipped another three tons later by train. Karin Edmond was one of those German kids who received those airborne sweets and she’s been a driving force behind the Candy Bomber’s annual visit to the Outer Banks.

In a brief interview with the Voice, Edmond confirmed that Halvorsen, now 99 years old, will return to Dare County again this Christmas season, arriving on December 12, and being inducted into what is sometimes known as the “Aviator Hall of Fame” at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills on Dec. 17.

The tireless Edmond — who says the key to raising enough funds to cover the Candy Bomber visit is to keep knocking on doors — is so far about $3,000 short of her goal of raising $13,000.

Anyone wishing to donate toward the Candy Bomber event can make a check payable to The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation and all donations must be mailed by Dec. 6 to Candy Bomber 2019, c/o Karin Edmond, P.O. Box 1226, Manteo, N.C. 27954.

Anyone with questions about donations and the event can call Karin at 252-473-1795.

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See what people are saying:

  • Sean Titus

    I was in Berlin in 1985 as a student and heard stories about the “candy bomber” from some of the residents who experienced it themselves. After hearing about how much joy it brought to what were difficult times for them, I would consider it an honor to meet Colonel Halvorsen. He made quite an impact on the children living in what they saw as scary times, and more people should strive to do something selfless in his name whenever they can. Thank you, Gail.

    Wednesday, Nov 6 @ 4:56 pm