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Memorial details

Memorial type
Roll of honour or book of remembrance
City Of Westminster
Greater London
Berlin Airlift (1948-1949)
  • Dedicated
    Date: 30 May 1999
    Attended by: Local Clergy/Dignitaries
Not lost
WM Reference
Current location

On staircase to gallery
right of the vesitbule
St Clement Danes Church
City Of Westminster
Greater London

OS Grid Ref: TQ 30978 81036
Denomination: Church of England

View location on Google Maps
Book of remembrance with light blue leather cover. On cover is small metal plaque etched with symbol of the airlift association, which is repeated inside the book in colour. The second page has the flags of Berlin and the UK.
This book records the names of 39 British/ and Commonwealth men, who lost their/ lives in the air and on the ground, whilst/ taking part in the Berlin Airlift operation/ from 28 June 1948 until 30 September 1949/ and thus ensured the survival of the city. 'For they intended evil against thee;/ they imagined a mischievous device/ which they are not able to perform.'/ Psalm 21 Verse II IN MEMORIAM (names) THE BERLIN AIRLIFT/ THE BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH CONTRIBUTION/ The Berlin Airlift began on 28 June 1948, four days after the Russians/ closed the road, rail and inland waterway accesses to the Western Zones./ The only means by which the Western Allies could reach Berlin was via/ three air corridors, each 20 miles wide and extending to a maximum of/ 10,000 feet above ground level. Under the code name Operation Knicker, two Royal Air Force Dakota/squadrons were deployed to Wunstorf to airlift supplies for the/maintenance of British forces in Berlin and began operating on 28/June. It was assumed that the city had enough supplies to last 3-4 weeks/but that it would be impossible to supply the needs of the 2.2 million/inhabitants solely by air. The credibility of the Western position in Berlin/ hinged on the ability of the RAF and USAF to achieve the impossible and,/ although the Operation - by now named 'Plainfare' - would last longer/than anticipated, a careful reassessment of British and American/resources gave cause for optimism. A further seven Dakota squadrons/ were deployed to Wunsdorf and eight York squadrons were gradually/ withdrawn from their world-wide operations and began flying from/ Wunsdorf on 3 July. On 5 July, two Sunderland flying boat squadrons and the OCU, together/with Aquila Airways joined the Airlift. They flew from Finkenwerde on/the Elbe at Hamburg to the Havel Lake in Berlin. These operations/ continued until mid December when ice prevented further flying. Civilian aircraft were chartered to increase the transport capacity and/ the first formal day of the Civil Airlift was 4 August 1948. In all, twenty-six charter companies were involved, using many different/ types and sizes of aircraft. In particular, eight companies operated tanker/ aircraft which transported all of the liquid fuel required in Berlin. During July the Dakota squadrons were transferred to Fassberg. They/were then moved on to Lubeck at the end of August, when the United/States Air Force C-54 aircraft arrived at Fassberg. In December, USAF C-54/ aircraft arrived at Celle when some of the British civilian aircraft were re-/ deployed to Fuhlsbuttel and Schleswigland. In September and October, twelve Royal Australian Air Force, ten South/ African Air Force and three Royal New Zealand Air Force crews arrived in/ Lubeck to support the Dakotas. During November, the newly formed squadrons of Hastings aircraft/ began operations from Schleswigland. Tegel, a new airfield in Berlin, which had been constructed by local labour, was then brought into use. On 12 May 1949 the Blockade was lifted by the Russians but the airlift/ operations continued for several months thereafter. The run-down of flying began in August with the cessation of the Civil/ Airlift on 16 August 1949 and the withdrawal of the York aircraft. The/ Dakotas left at the end of September with a Hastings being the last aircraft/ to land at Gatow on 6 October. Thus ended the greatest humanitarian airlift the World had known. 2.2/ million inhabitants of West Berlin had been sustained by the combined/ American/British airlift, which transported 2.325,809 short tons of supplies. OPERATION PLAINFARE/ ROYAL AIR FORCE INVOLVEMENT/ (List of Squadrons)/ COMMONWEALTH INVOLVEMENT/ (List)/ CIVIL AVIATION INVOLVEMENT/ (List)/ ROYAL AIR FORCE STATIONS AND UNITS/ (List)/ ARMY UNITS/ (List) RECORD OF ACCIDENTS/ (Dates and Names) The greatest courage is not always seen/ It hides away:/ Just making grand some dark spot all poor and mean/ And dark with shadows gray./ The greatest courage is so strangely strong/ It has small care/ That, all unnoticed, working in life's throng,/ It lacks men's praises there./ And while less plucky hear applauses deep/ From crowds, earth blind:/ The greatest courage, God-watched,/ Climbs some steep/ Nor ever looks behind!/ Lilian Gard
Inscription legible?
  • Berlin Airlift (1948-1949)
    Total names on memorial: 39
    Served and returned: 0
    Died: 39
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: surname,year died,place of death,forename,manner of death,decorations
    Order of information: surname
  • Book
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Paper, Leather
Listing information
Book was bound in May 1999
Trust fund/Scholarship
Purpose: Unknown or N/A
  • Unveiling Programme/ Order of Service 1999

This record comprises all information held by IWM’s War Memorials Register for this memorial. Where we hold a names list for the memorial, this information will be displayed on the memorial record. Please check back as we are adding more names to the database.

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© WMR-53573

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