American officer known as the 'Candy Bomber' served as pilot with 17th Military Air Transport Sqdn, US Air Transport Command during Berlin Airlift, Germany, 1948-1949; served with Space Development Programme in USA and Germany, 1958-1965; commanded Tempelhof Airfield in Berlin, Germany, 1969-1974
REEL 1 Background in Utah, 1920-1940: family; employment; early interest in flying. Aspects of training with US Army Air Corps in USA, 1941-1944: initial civilian training; training with 3 Training School, an RAF training school in US; memories of RAF fighter pilot instructors. Aspects of period as pilot with US Air Transport Command in South Atlantic, 1944- 1945: assignment to transport aircraft; routes flown in South Atlantic; problems with navigation; character of Ascension Island during Second World War; use of Douglas C54 transport aircraft.
REEL 2 Continues: loads and personnel carried; transporting returning troops after Second World War; reasons for continuing service in US Air Force. Recollections of period as pilot with 17th Military Air Transport Sqdn, US Air Transport Command during Berlin Airlift, 7/1948-1/1949: question of volunteering to fly in airlift, 1948; flight from US to Frankfurt, 7/1948; reaction to crossing border on first flight to Berlin; sight of destruction in Berlin; character of Germans unloading aircraft; flying in air corridor; quality of American pilots.
REEL 3 Continues: transporting dried goods and importance of correct weight when transporting coal; use of open escape hatches to get rid of coal and flour dust; opinion of ground control operators; why General John Tunner likened the airlift to a symphony; approach to and landings at Templehof and Gatow Airfields in Berlin; training replacement pool of pilots in Great Falls, Montana; unloading of aircraft; duration of flights; initial problems of aircraft stacking up in the air corridor; difficulty of seeing Berlin from ground; encounter with German children at Tempelhof fence.
REEL 4 Continues: how he started his operation 'Little Vittels' by sharing out four little pieces of gum; development of idea of dropping sweets to children; method of dropping chocolate and candy to children; how he and crew members were breaking air force rules and subsequent interview with commanding officer; obtaining large supply of sweets in USA to distribute amongst children; system of getting candy dropped in right place; dropping candy to children in East Berlin until Russians intervened; 1998 meeting with former East German child who had received 'candy parachute'.
REEL 5 Continues: stacking and spacing system in air corridor and improvements; character of Tegel Airfield; French co-operation in blowing up Soviet radio mast; sharing facilities and airfields with RAF; friendly rivalry between different American units; relative length of air corridors; importance of beacons; sight of aircraft in air corridor; buzzing of aircraft by Russian fighter aircraft; Russian use of searchlights in attempt to blind Allied pilots; importance of basing Boeing B29s Superfortresses in GB; coping with poor weather conditions; safety record during the airlift; loads carried; work done by German women on runway at Templehof; technique for dropping candy during bad weather; sources of sweets.
REEL 6 Continues: public relations tour to USA to obtain support for 'Little Vittels' project, 9/1948; lessons learnt by giving to others; turnover of pilots during airlift; how he made parachutes and returned; sources of parachutes; multi-faceted nature of airlift; reaction to leaving airlift; visit to deliver candy to Polio Hospital; leaving Berlin; story of receiving teddy bear mascot from small German girl; near head-on collision, 11/8/1948; importance of Berlin Airlift; importance of airlift as a model for humanitarian air operations.
REEL 7 Continues: status on return to USA, 1/1949; return to education to complete engineering degree. Recollections of period as officer with US Air Force attached to Space Development Programme, 1958-1965: background to joining programme; work on Dinasaur Programme; impetus of the Soviet Sputnik; work on programme; writing last report for US Air Force before NASA took over; increase in technical research and peripheral benefits; belief that man could be landed on the moon; opinion of test pilots; importance of research; secrecy of work.
REEL 8 Continues: posting to Germany to exchange information with European Space programme, 1962-1965; input of German V weapons scientists; situation in Germany, 1962. Aspects of period as commander of Tempelhof Airfield in Germany, 1969-1974: background to posting; meeting with Mercedes and Peter Wild; contrast between Tempelhof between 1948/1949 and 1969/1974; situation in Berlin.
REEL 9 Continues: Retirement and civilian career, 1974-1984. Story of running Mormon missions in St Petersburg, Russia, early 1990s and in Newbury, GB, 1984. Encounters with Greenham Common peace protesters at Greenham Common, 1984. Aspects of involvement with 'Sprit of Freedom' educational programme from 1994: flying aircraft to GB and Europe to attends air shows, 1998; flight to Berlin culminating in march of veterans around Olympic stadium; personal importance of Berlin and how airlift changed direction of his life.
REEL 10 Continues: meeting with President Truman in 1948 and President Clinton in 1998. Story of visiting Kosovo in 1999 and Bosnia, 1994. Story of being asked to lead German team into stadium at Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, 2002. Reaction to 9/11 New York and continuing commitment humanitarian concerns.