[NOTE: The original of this document is on file in the Historical Reference Collection (HRC) of the US Army Center of Military History. It is contained in the file GEOG. M Germany 523 - Berlin Airlift, which should be included in any bibliographic citation. It is reproduced exactly, preserving original language including any typographic errors, with only minor formatting adjustments to meet the requirements of Hypertext Markup Language.]  



Introduction to "Operation Vittles"

Statistics can be dull....sometimes. But statistics can be exciting reading when the data listed concerns a city in need, a challenge given, and a duty performed by a combination of brains, brawn and backbone!

The blockade of Berlin was imposed by the Russians on 21 June, 1948. In line with the famous "Nuts!" reply by Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe to the German Commander demanding surrender in the last war, Gen. Clay gave a stellar reply to the Russians: "I will not be bluffed!" The answer was given in food, not bullets. Thus, Operation Vittles had its airborne birth on 26 June, 1948. While there had been no time to draw up an exact blueprint of the problems involved and the solving thereof, plans, planes and trucks alerted rolling.

From 26 June, 1948 to 10 November, 1948 Col. Lloyd D. Bunting, predecessor of this writer, was responsible for organizing and operating TC Airhead Tempelhof. Much pioneering was done by the former Transportation Officer in the matter of experimentation in order to determine ways and means of developing the operational procedure of the Transportation Corps to support the "Vittles" planes.

- 1 -

First Plane Arrives

The first C-47 (goony bird) arrived 26 June at Tempelhof Air Base, Berlin and was unloaded in trucks of the Transportation Corps. An organization quickly came into being, known as Transportation Corps Airhead Tempelhof. It was TCAHT's job to coordinate all activities concerning the speedy loading and unloading of supplies, and correlating all information for more efficient expediting of goods.

Mission Organization & S.O.P. Excerpts

The mission of the Transportation Corps is to supervise and control operationally an alert, elastic organization of sufficient size, working 24 hours daily, to load and unload planes swiftly, safely and in a minimum of turn-around time; further, to cooperate and maintain close liaison with the Air Force representatives in order to effectively support the air operations as a combined logistical effort.

To accomplish this mission, an organization and S.O.P. came into being. The initial organization, unwieldy and top-heavy as it was, consisted of key military and U. S. civilians, as well as German, U. S. and Maglstrat hired. Later, it will be shown what results were attained by streamlining the TC Airhead in saving of personnel and equipment.

Initially, each of four shifts consisted of over 750 mixed personnel, or a 3,000 plus figure for four shifts, consisting of six

- 2 -

officers, seventy-five enlisted men, one hundred German drivers, four hundred twenty German laborers, off-loading and outloading in and outbound cargo, and 150 U. S., German, miscellaneous advisory and administrative personnel. This personnel consisted of cargo and plane checkers, truck guards, fork lift operators, section chiefs, foremen—most of whom were in the category of German personnel.

Contrasting this top-heavy organization of November, 1948 to the present, we now have one officer (Field Officer in Charge) for each shift and one administrative officer (day shift), 15 enlisted men, 63 drivers, 304 crew laborers and 77 miscellaneous personnel, totalling 464 per shift—or an actual total of l856 as of July 1, 1949.

As will be noticed in the section embracing statistics, (Exhibit B) this reduction was accomplished despite an increase in tonnage, particularly during 1949. This streamlining resulted in a very great reduction in the accident rate, as will be shown later, and in pilferage.

To more adequately familiarize the reader with the operational procedure and physical layout of the TC phase at Tempelhof, excerpts from the TC S.O.P. are quoted below:

The Transportation Officer is charged with the over-all responsiblity of controlling, coordinating and supervising the TC phase of the airlift at Tempelhof. In accomplishing his task it is necessary for him to maintain a close field liaison with the Commanding Officer, Tempelhof Airbase and close administrative and technical

- 3 -

liaison with the Commanding Officer, Berlin Military Post and with The Director, Office of Military Government—Berlin Sector. Immediately under the Transportation Officer and operationally responsible to him is the Operations Officer and Liaison Officer, who coordinate closely with the Transportation Officer and agencies enumerated above.

Definitions sad Abbreviations

The terms quoted below are those one should become most familiar with in order to more fully understand how the TC phase of the operation is conducted.

FOIC is the TC officer who has immediate supervision and control over approximately five hundred personnel each four shifts.

ADMIN OFF is the TC officer in charge of documentation and out-loading of cargo, as well as the coordination of all administrative matters in connection with the support phase.

MTO is the Motor Control Officer in charge of trucks and drivers.

A CARGO CHECKER is the Enlisted Man and/or German in charge of the crew of twelve men who unload each plane.

HQ TCAHT is the TC Airhead at Tempelhof located in Hangar 6 where all administrative and documentation is accomplished.

TRUCK REGULATOR is the Enlisted Man and/or German who maintains the log book for all TC trucks leaving the airbase and for those in the maintenance shop on the base.

- 4 -

LAND PIER is the loading platform where Civil Affairs food stuffs are transferred from 10-ton trailers to German cargo trucks.

The COAL RAMP is the physical location where coal is transferred from 10-ton trailers to railway cars.

The APRON is the apron in front of Hangar 3 to 7 where planes are spotted for loading and unloading.

The LINE is the physical location on the apron where planes are spotted for unloading.

The READY LINE is the place where the TC 10-ton trucks are parked awaiting the arrival of planes.

Enclosed, see Exhibit 4 which shows in a diagram airfield and the stations utilized.

Operational Procedure on the Field

To be more specific, thus enabling the reader to more fully comprehend exactly how the Vittles cargo is received and handled by TC, we shall take as an illustration a 10-ton truck from the ready line and dispatch it to a plane loaded with coal bags and follow it from plane-side to the time it is unloaded at the coal pier.

First, the alert driver watches the yellow "Follow Me" jeep spot the plane on the apron. Several minutes before the plane comes to a stop, the driver, with the 12 German laborers and cargo checkers turns and backs the rear of the vehicle to planeside. By the time the doors are thrown open by the plane pilot, the 10-ton trailer is backed and stopped. Since nearly

- 5 -

every vehicle has empty jute or duffle bags to the tune of 1,000 pounds, the bags are quickly thrown by the labor crew from truck to plane. This process normally takes two minutes. Then six of the twelve laborers immediately ascend into the plane to quickly pass each of the 110 lb. coal bags to a chute which has already been laid down between plane and rear of truck. The remaining six laborers lift and stack the bags of coal as they slide down the chute. Each plane load consists of from an average of 180 to 200 bags. This phase of handling takes from six to 10 minutes, contrasted to an average of fifteen to twenty minutes before the chain system was inaugurated.

With the plane empty, the truck driver immediately repairs to Headquarters, TCAHT (known as the Little White House) where one copy of the manifest is quickly deposited for recording of pertinent information. This is used for statistical and other recording. Following this step, which takes less than a minute, the vehicle proceeds to a scale house for weighing to determine the differential between manifest and actual weight—and it varies from 5 to 10%, depending upon weather conditions and if the load is coal or coke. At this station the operation takes from 2 to 4 minutes.

The last hauling phase is from scale house to coal pier, where the same twelve laborers who unloaded the cargo from plane to truck unload the sacks into empty freight cars. The freight cars are then directed by German rail personnel to redistribution points (coal dumps) where the coal is parcelled out to the German economy

- 6 -

and rationed to the individual German. A percentage of the coal is for U. S. Military consumption, which is allocated to the Engineer who trucks his portion to an empty dump.

Inasmuch as 65 to 70% of the total tonnage handled at Tempelhof is coal, we have used coal as an illustration of our operational procedure. Other materiel, consisting of food, industrial goods and perishables are handled in about the same manner, except that food for Civil Affairs is hauled to the land pier and CA industrial to the intransit storage warehouse in Hangar 4 for redistribution to German factories.

Operation "Streamline"

Let's look at some of the strides T.C. made in streamlining its operations:

In the beginning, Quartermaster supplies of food and coal were stored and guarded all night, which immobilized as many as fifty trucks. Then a plan was devised so that supplies were delivered to warehouses on a 24-hour per day basis, reducing pilferage and effecting savings in critical motor transportation. Pilferers are ingenious—the flair for getting something for nothing is limited to no one nationality. One of the laborers had a "sweet time" before being discovered. He stabbed a bag of sugar with a round, hollowed spear, letting the sugar slide into another sack through the spear—thus for awhile having his own personal, private "operation vittles"! Needless to say, this imaginative fellow doesn't work at Tempelhof any more.

- 7 -

Originally, a crew of 12 German employees unloaded a plane upon a 10-ton trailer which proceeded to the coal or land pier, where a second crew unloaded the truck and transferred its cargo to the German consignee. This system was changed so that the same 12 men unloaded the plane and truck, which eliminated the extra employees at the unloading coal and land piers. This effected a reduction of 465 people and accelerated the trucks' turn-around time by five minutes. Furthermore, vesting of responsibility in one crew greatly reduced the problems of pilferage and resulted in a considerable financial saving to the German Magistrat.

Storage of German outgoing industrial supplies were warehoused four miles from Tempelhof and many trucks were tied up unncessarily [sic] as "warehouses on wheels" to transport the varying loads from day to day. Then an intransit storage warehouse was established at Tempelhof, where all goods for the German economy were housed under the supervision of the Magistrat. All German goods manufactured in blockaded Berlin are delivered in German vehicles to the intransit warehouse and outloaded by TC. This has brought about a savings of thousands of dollars in cost of gasoline, labor and trucks, due to better utilization of 2-1/2 and 10-ton trucks.

Traffic from the plane unloading areas to the coal or food transfer arens was greatly handicapped by a totally inadequate road. At the instigation of the Transportation Corps, the Tempelhof Airbase Engineers constructed a new dual land road. This speeded up

- 8 -

turn-around time, lessened 2nd and 3rd echelon maintenance, reduced confusion and accidents although the flow of trucks became heavier.

A new type of chute made of hardwood was introduced for unloading cargo from the planes. The light metal chute formerly used soon became badly bent and torn, causing spillage and wastage of bagged food.

While these savings in time, energy, vehicles and power were being evolved, what were the people of Berlin doing to help "Operation Vittles" and how was the blockade affecting them? 1. They weren't driving automobiles—you don't drive far on five gallons of gas per month! 2. They were staying pretty close to home and discovering the power of a good book—for the electric lights were on for two periods only each day: from six to eight-thirty a.m. and six to eleven p.m. Since the Berlin night starts at three-thirty p.m. in the winter, and there were no street lights, social life was more or less at a standstill with club activities and gatherings vastly curtailed. Bus schedules and taxis were adjusted to limited hours of service. 3. Much of the cooking is done by electricity, so meals and menus had to be planned carefully for the "light" period. And when the meal was served, the soft glow of candlelight was seen as Berliners learned to use the old-fashioned lighting of earlier days!

During the blockade all automobiles and extremely large, bulky cargo were flown in end out of Berlin in the C-82's—flying box ears. Over 350 privately owned and military vehicles were flown out

- 9 -

of Berlin during the siege. The C-82 carries 7-1/2 tons, and can handle two large automobiles in one trip. At one tine a dismantled power plant was flown in from the American Zone to Berlin in pieces of approximately 7 tons per trip. This took special planning–for well in advance of the arrival of such heavy equipment to be unloaded, fork lifts and cranes had to be available.

TC, in order to further cut down the tine between arrival, unloading, loading and takeoff of a plane, devised another timesaving procedure, as well as providing for the comfort of a weary airlift pilot and crew. A mobile snack bar, approved by the Base Commander, continually follows the incoming planes on the apron serving sandwiches and hot drinks to flight crews. Thus, the pilot does not leave the area of the ship between flights. Each round trip flight requires four hours–1:45 minutes flying hours each way and approximately 15 minutes to load and unload. The maximun speed pilots are allowed to fly is 175 miles per hour in order to maintain their perfect three minute pattern and to insure the proper interval in the air corridor.

To explain the air corridor—this is a 20-mile wide strip through the Russian Zone and pilots must not deviate from their course at any time. When the Ground Control Approach in the tower permits a pilot to land, he continuously quotes the elevation and lack of interference until the pilot, like an eagle, brushes the chimney of homes north of the field. Ground Control says, "You have reached touch-down". Then the plane taxis to the apron where it is

- 10 -

met by the "Follow Me" jeep and is put into position for unloading. Upon completion of unloading, the plane taxis to the south end of the field for a take-off and return to home base.

The effect of the operational changes can readily be ascertained from the following figures:

The time involved for e crew to unload a plane, transfer its cargo to German consignees and return to its position for further utilization was reduced from 1 hour 15 minutes to an average of from 40 to 45 minutes. This turnaround figure applies only to cargo listed from the planeside to land or coal piers, and not to CA industrial or other bulky engineer's equipment.

Formerly, 100 vehicles, including 4-5 ton tractors and 10-ton trailers, 2-1/2 6x6 trucks, several jeeps and 3/4 ton trucks were utilized at TC Airhead. With the reduced turn-around time of trucks, better utilization and immediate dispatch of Quartermaster supplies to the warehouses, discontinuance of CA warehousing on trucks, this number her been reduced to 60 vehicles in June—or an approximate reduction of 45%.

The tremendous emphasis on saving in every way possible extended itself even to lumps of coal. Sweepers sweep the apron every day for loose coal which falls off the planes. This small operation contributes five tone of coal salvaged during each 24-hour period.

Due to the greater efficiency of all departments, accidents were greatly reduced. During the 5 months period July to November, 1948, 22 accidents occurred at Tempelhof Airbase. During the next five months period—December to April, 1949, only two accidents occurred.

- 11 -

Performance Chart

The speed with which a plane can be unloaded and then made ready for a trip back to the home base depends a great deal on the interest taken by the German personnel handling the cargo. TC has devised a performance chart including the four shifts to stimulate daily competition to earn the points that will insure their being the prize-winning crew at the end of each month. Points are won or lost on the degree of absenteeism, pilferage and accidents, and operational delays. The winning shift is given suitable recognition at a ceremony the end of each month, with prizes for each member in food, candy or cigarettes. This plan has effectively demonstrated the democratic process of competition and striving for an ever better record, with the attendant victory and sharing by all. For no one knows better than a resident of Berlin—German or Allied—what lay ahead had Operation Vittles failed or been just a mediocre trial run.

By this method, unloading time of coal and food from planeside has been reduced from an Overage of 20 to 10 minutes. Shift II, at Tempelhof, ably led by Maj Thomas G. Hammond, won 1st in the workers' competition during April and June. Maj Walter P. Myers, in charge of Shift IV, took honors during May.

This writer devised the competitive plan to stimulate keen shift rivalry in order to cut down turn-round time and speed up the handling of cargo. They accomplished both beyond all expectation. To say the German is a great competitor is only half the story.


Comparison of Costs

A comparison between the first 6-months period at Tempelhof —July 1 to December 31, 1948—and the second 6-months period— January 1 1949 to June 30, 1949, shows how the cost per ton decreased as the tonnage handled increased.

1948 July $ 4.02
Aug. 3.58
Sept. 3.92
Oct. 4.09
Nov. 5.29
Dec. 3.43
1949 Jan. 2.89
Feb. 3.03
Mar. 2.21
Apr. 1.93
May 1.98
June 1.95


The Transportation Branch is justly proud of the savings effected: cost per ton in first period—$4.50—second period—$2.25—a saving of over 50%!

Record Days - and Record Day (Easter Parade)

The upward climb of the lift tonnage continued until, with a tremendous effort in the 24-hour period from 1345, 15 April, to 1345, 16 April (Good Friday), the airlift "shot the works", as Gen. Clay said—flying the Easter Parade. And what a parade it was! On that day a plane landed nearly every minute for 24-hours in Berlin (Gatow-Tegel-Tempelhof Airfields)—and the welcome drone of aircraft was a might sweet sound in the ears of the people.

- 13 -

When the day was ended, 12,177.12 tone of toot and coal had been delivered for the three fields—Gatow (British), Tegel (French), and Tempelhof (American). As smoothly as the planes set down and were unloaded and loaded again for the take-off, just as smoothly did TC dispatch with precision the tremendous stockpile of goods to the supply depots.

Of this mighty effort our own TC Tempelhof magnificently handled the unloading of 515 planes and 4688.22 short tons, or 381 % at the entire lift and 46% of the U. S. total. Below is an official tabulation, including the British effort. INBOUND  

TEMPELHOF 515 4,688.32
GATOW 259 2,564.7
TEGEL 298 3,019.5
U.S. TOTAL 1,072 10,272.52
GATOW 208 1,404.4
TEGEL 64 500.2
BRITISH TOTAL 272 1,904.6
COMBINED LIFT 1,344 12,177.12

- 14 -

In order to give the reader a complete picture of how the lift continuously expanded, I quote record days for Tempelhof since 16 September, 1948:

16 September 1948 2,957
23 February 1949 3,016
24 March 1949 3,020
25 March 1949 3,218
30 March 1949 3,314
31 March 1949 3,407
11 April 1949 3,409
16 April* 1949 4,688

*Record Day

More About Record Day 15-16 April 1949

Mere figures do not tell the whole Story. One had to witness the enthusiastic and determined effort to fully appreciate the strained faces and utter determination that pervaded the mind and heart of these drivers and laborers who drove carefully and unloaded planes with the speed of a mechanical robot rather than a human being.

Seldom were there more than five planes on the apron which were not unloaded or taxiing to a take-off. During the hectic period from 1100 to 1345 on Saturday, 16 April, or 165 minutes—91 planes were landed at Tempelhof, or a plane every minute and a half! Yet our support phase operated so efficiently that as many as 18 planes were awaiting take-off or return to Wiesbaden or Rhine Main. This is not a too published fact, for the Air Force rather grudgingly admits our trucks and laborers worked so swiftly that the air pattern interval could not keep the pace with them.

- 15 -

There is little question of doubt, however, that the combined teamplay of Air Force and ground crew that day created a logistical effort the like of which has never been seen in peace or wartime. Think of it!—nearly 1,000 tons of precious coal and food were landed and handled on one field in 165 minutes—over 6 tons a minute!

For this Supreme effort we gave our laborers cigarettes, and General Hodges, General Howley, Colonel Barr and this writer warmly congratulated pilots and crew of the last plane, number 108 that concluded this magnificent defense effort.

Outstanding Service Recognized

Many recommendations for the Arty Commendation Ribbon for personnel identified with the TC phase of Operation Vittles were submitted during March and April.

The first approved awards, all to enlisted men, of 7798 Traffic Detachment and 7807 Motor Transport Battalion were presented at Tempelhof on 18 May, 1949 by our Chief of Transportation, European Command, Colonel Calvin Dewitt, Jr. The recipients were:

Sgt Agosio Valento
Pfc Molder M. Grubbs
Sfc John G. Masters
Sgt James L. Tapley
Cpl Kenneth R. Sasaoka
Pfc Francis J. Kenna
Sfc Claude B. Campbell

As an example of the splendid work done by the men listed above, I quote from some of the citations:

- 16 -

"Corporal Kenneth Kanaji Sasaoka, RA *** ** ***, 7798th Traffic Regulation Detachment, Berlin Military Post. As NCO in charge of outloading aircraft at the TC Airhead Tempelhof, Cpl Sasaoka exhibited exceptional leadership in efficiently instructing personnel engaged in loading planes departing from Berlin for the US Zone, thus assisting in expedited and more proficient loading, and greater tonnage of "Operation Vittles". Cpl Sasaoka exhibited extraordinary regard for his responsibility under disagreeable conditions, during the period 26 June 1948 to 12 May 1949, thereby reflecting credit upon himself and the Army of the United States."

Sgt James L. Tapley, RA *** ** ***, 7798th Traffic Regulation Detachment, Berlin Military Post. As NCO in charge of outloading cargo at the TC Airhead Tempelhof, Sgt Tapley was responsible for the loading, storing, lashing and proper balance of cargo aboard "Operation Vittles" aircraft. The outstanding manner in which he accomplished these duties contributed to the reduction of ground time ... Sgt Tapley displayed unusual leadership and devotion to duty ... during the period 26 June 1948 to 12 May 1949…"

Space does not allow my quoting the other citations, but each of the men listed did a superior job and every credit is due them.

On Sunday, 3 July, Col. James T. Duke, CO, BMP presented, at a retreat ceremony and review, the ACR to Major Charles M. Hand, Major Herbert A. Ziegler and Lt. Ben Brinkworth for outstanding service in connection with the Berlin airlift. Quoting briefly from these citations:

"Major Herbert A. Ziegler ... As the first operations Officer at Tempelhof, Major Ziegler's ability to organize and coordinate personnel and equipment under conditions requiring great attention to detail... (more)

- 17 -

Through great initiative and foresight ... was responsible for the establishment of a German operated railroad ... which has bean a tremendous saving in motor vehicle utilization. His intense loyalty and utter disregard of long and arduous hours were an inspiration to all officers and enlisted men...."

"1st Lt Ben Brinkworth ... As Freight Transportation Officer, demonstrated brilliant leadership in the supervision of enlisted men and German employees handling vast quantities of air freight ... Additionally, he devised a "circulation plan" for vehicular traffic meeting arriving aircraft ... also devised a type of hardwood floor chute which has reduced drastically spillage and wastage of bagged food...."

It is anticipated additional approved Army Commendation Ribbons for other deserving personnel will reach Berlin in the near future.

In a letter of April 30, 1949 Colonel Robert A. Millard, Post Commander during the rigorous period of the blockade, said in part to his command: .... "After ten months of supporting the airlift, our Transportation Branch can still boast that not a single plane has been delayed at Tempelhof by lack of a vehicle or crew to unload it..."

Quoting from this writer's letter of 21 April 1949 to ail officers, enlisted men and German employees at Tempelhof in appreciation of the Record Day effort, we said in part:

" … Inasmuch as the combined airlift task force and the ground support organization at Gatow, Tegel and Tempelhof established an unprecedented record in lifting by plane and transporting by truck in 1344 flights a total of over 12,000 short tons to Berlin, we desire to congratulate and compliment all those involved in this epic operation.

- 18 -

The TC support given at Tempelhof during the period 1345, 15 April to 1345 16 April was a logistical milestone of supporting a Herculean effort on the part of the Air Force. To the laborers who worked practically without rest in three shifts to unload C-54 planes in from five to ten minutes, great credit is due...."

Dignitaries, including diplomats, members of Congress foreign military officers and governmental officials—notably Governor and Mrs. Thomas E. Dewey on 30 May, Colonel Gustav Adolf Westring, Swedish Air Chief, on 3 May, 1949 have been very lavish in their praise of the TC phase of "Vittles" and are amazed at the smoothness and apparently effortless manner in which supplies are transferred from plane to truck to rail and to German truck. Little do they realize the trials and tribulations, thinking and planning involved in perfecting our timing, coordination and physical changes incident to our present situation.

Personalities of This National Defense Team

In making easier our reorganizational and streamlining effort, this writer desires to pass out verbal orchids and grateful appreciation to:

Col Calvin De Witt, Jr.
Col John A. Barr
Lt Col William H. De Lacey
Col James T. Duke
Col Robert A. Willard
Lt Col Kenneth Haymaker
Maj C. V. Prosser
Maj Frederick Bates
Lt Col Ernest C. Seaman
Maj Herbert A. Ziegler
Maj Thomas Hammond
Maj Walter Meyers

- 19 -

And to all those skillful Air Force pilots, Naval pilots and engineers on the "Vittles" run who, through sleet, rain, fog, snow and high wind for a year, day and night, brought to us the precious life-blood for 2-1/2 million people.

Col Calvin De Witt, Jr., Chief of Transportation, EUCOM, for his generous technical advice, administrative support, confidence and encouragement during our tenure as TC Operational Chief of "Vittles" Tempelhof.

Col John A. Barr, present Commanding Officer of Tempelhof Air Base for so splendidly and generously cooperating in matters of mutual concern pertaining to inter-service administration and operational problems; too, for the high compliment tendered the T.C. officers in June at a special party.

Lt Col William H. DeLacey, former Commanding Officer, Tempelhof Air Base for excellent cooperation at all times, and in particular, his successful security efforts to make the Base secure

from pilferers and drivers who were inclined to take trucks unauthorized.

Col Robert A. Willard, former Commanding Officer, Berlin Military Post and Col James T. Duke, incumbent, both of whom capably directed T. C. support phase for the year 1948-49.

Lt Col Kenneth Haymaker, S-4, BMP, for excellent staff coordination and loyal support of the T.C. support program, thus expediting the receipt, handling and distribution of all classes of "Vittles" supplies.

- 20 -

Maj Clayton V. Prosser, Cargo Director at Tempelhof, now occupying a similar position with CALTF, Wiesbaden, whose able and prompt forecasting, liaisoning and cooperation with TC made our support phase task easier and much more efficient. Too much credit can not be given to Prosser, for it was he whom we could always depend upon for accurate and firm advance information on vital technical and administrative matters incident to any phase of Operation Vittles.

Maj Frederick R. Bates, Capt Virgin, Lt Trussell, Lt Guilfold, Lt Evely, Asst. Cargo Director, for willing cooperation and effective assistance so generously accorded in making available planes for outloading of coal sacks and U. S. military and industrial supplies from the German economy.

Lt Col Ernest C. Seaman, Asst. Operations Officer, for his loyalty, intelligence and dispatch in procurement of vital items of supply and the solution of pressing operational and administrative problems without regard to hours.

Maj Herbert I.. Ziegler, Administrative Officer, TCAHT, for effective liaison contact with B.M.P., OMGBS and Rhine Main incident to the prevention of bottlenecks of receipt and distribution of Vittles cargo.

Maj Thomas G. Hammond, for superior leadership and control of Shift II, resulting in that shift being tops at Tempelhof two out of three months of competition.

Maj Walter P. Myers, FIOC in charge of Shift IV for able leadership and winning the first shift prize during May.

- 21 -

To the German drivers and hundreds of laborers who, by their devotion to duty, loyalty and teamplay, have made possible in no small way the excellent support results attained at Tempelhof.

To other officers, TC Branch, Enlisted Men of 7798 TRD, 16th Constabulary and 18th Infantry, for loyalty, outstanding performance of assigned duties in connection with the TC phase.

Last, but certainly not least, this writer wishes to express his most sincere and deep appreciation to Miss Lillian N. Donahue, his faithful and competent secretary, for her assistance in compiling and coordinating research material for this article.

First Year Record

We conclude this Tempelhof story by a Statistical Summary (Exhibit C) of the planes and tonnage for the combined airlift at all fields, from 26 June 1948 to 26 June 1949 and percentage handled by British and U. S. planes.

- 22 -

Exhibit A: Diagram TC Airhead Tempelhof

Exhibit B: Year of TC Statistics - Operation VITTLES

Exhibit C: First Year Record For Combined Berlin Airlift


page updated 6 June 2001

Return to CMH Online