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Berlin Airlift Memorial (Luftbrückendenkmal)

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The memorial is located near the southwest corner of the airport, close to one of the airport fire stations and on the opposite side of the runways from the terminals. It is situated between Ellis Road and the number 5 Autoroute. The memorial is situated near the site of the now closed Rhein Main United States Airbase. Monument

At the center of the Frankfurt Airport Berlin Airlift Memorial, or Luftbrückendenkmal in German, there is a large upright concrete structure that resembles the flight paths that Allied planes flew to deliver goods to West Berlin; this monument is a replica of the monument designed by Eduard Ludwig located at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin. It rests on a dark granite base and metal and is surrounded by a small glower garden. Immediately in front of the monument there is a small metal plaque which depicts a plane in flight and the dates of the Berlin Airlift's 50th anniversary. Along the base of the monument are the names of the pilots who participated in the airlift mission. On both the left and right side of this structure, there are small plaques (both in German). This part of the memorial is flanked by four flags and a section of the Berlin Wall; the German and American flags are on the left hand side and the French and British flags, as well as the section of the Berlin Wall, are on the right hand side. To the left of the central monument is a small white stone wall that bears a bronze plaque which gives a brief history of the airlift in English. To the right of the central monument there is a similar plaque that gives the names of the individuals involved in the monument's construction. On both sides on the area containing the monument and the plaque, there is an airplane like those used during the Berlin Airlift. On the opposite side of the entrance from the memorial, there is a small stone tablet that depicts a bear and marks the 550 kilometer distance to Berlin. The metal rod embedded in the ground in front of the monument represents the corridor between Rhein Main and Berlin. Additionally, there is the sign for the Rhein Main U.S. Airbase. The monument was commissioned in 1985.

Monument Text:

Names along the base of the monument:

"Sie Gaben Ihr Fur Die Freiheit Berlins Im Dienste Der Luftbrücke 1948/49


Capt. W.R. Howard  Capt. W.A. Rathgeber  Sgt. B.J. Watkins  Cpl. N.H. Thies  1stLt. R.H. Boyd  1stLt. R.M. Wurgel  1stLt. W.F. Hargis  Capt. B.E. Phelps  T/Sgt. L.C. Wells  AD/3 H.R. Crites Jr.  1stLt. L.A. Wheaton Jr.  1stLt. R.P. Weaver  1stLt. C.B. Ladd  1stLt. E.S. Erickson  T/Sgt. C.L. Putnam  1stLt. R.C. Stephens  1stLt. L.V. Williams  Capt. J.M. de Valentine  Maj. E.C. Diltz  Pfc. R.E. Stone  Sgt. R. Winter  Cpl. G.S. Burns  1stLt. C.H. King  1stLt. W.T. Lucas  1stLt. G.B. Smith  1stLt. R.W. Stuber  Capt. J.A. Vaughn  Civ. C.H. Hagen  Pfc. J.T. Orms  1stLt. R.C. von Luehrte  2ndLt. D.J. Leemon  T/Sgt. H.F. Heinig  Sold. R.C. Marks  F/Lt. H.W. Thompson  M.C. D.F.C. Nav. II. L.E.H. Gilbert  Sig. II. S.M.L. Towersey  Eng. II. D.W. Watson  Pi. I. F.I. Trezona  F/Lt. J.G. Wilkins  Sig. III. B.A. Lough  Sgt. C. Dowling  Nav/O. A.J. Burton  F/Eng. K.A. Seaborn  Capt. W. Cusack  C. Taylor Rad/O D.W. Robertson  N/O M.E. Casey  Capt. G. Utting  Eng. T. Supernatt  Eng. D.I Griffin  Eng. E. O’Neal  Sig. II. J.D. Grout  Capt. R.J. Freight  Sgt. J. Toal F/Lt. M.J. Quinn  N/O. J.R.L. Sharpe  Eng/O. H. Paterson  Capt. P.C. Goulding  1stO. H.T. Newman  Rad/O. D.J. Edwards  Capt. R.M.W. Heath  F/O. K.A. Reeves  Mas. Sig. A. Penny  Capt. W.R.O. Lewis  Nav/O. E.L. Carroll  AD/O. E.G. Wood  F/Eng. J. Anderson  F/O. I.R. Donaldson  Nav. II. W.G. Page  Sig. II. A. Dunsire  Eng. II. R.R. Gibbs  F/Lt. G. Kell W. Duhring  H. Fielder  K. Schlinsog H. Schwarz  K. Zulsdorf"

English Translation:

"They Gave Their Lives For The Freedom Of Berlin During The 1948/49 Airlift"

Plaque in front of the monument:
"Berlin Airlift

Enlisted Members Plaque:

"Dedicated To The Enlisted Members

Who Sacrificed Their Lives

During The Berlin Airlift


TSGT Herbert F. Heinig

TSGT Charles L. Putnam

TSGT Lloyd G. Wells

SGT Bernard J. Watkins

SGT Richard Winter

CPL Norbert V. Theis

PFC Ronald E. Stone


Airmen Leadership Class



Plaque to the left of the monument:

"Berlin Airlift Memorial
On 26 June 1948, the Berlin Airlift officially began to provide food, fuel and medicine to 2.5 million west Berliners cut off from the world by a Soviet Union imposed blockade of all surface transportation. By the declared end of the "Big Lift" on 30 September 1949, 277 264 flights had been conducted from West Germany to West Berlin, delivering in excess of 2.3 million tons. On the first day 32 C-47 aircraft carried 80 tons of supplies to Berlin. Two days later, the commander, U.S. Air Forces/Europe, organized a dedicated airlift force to carry out Operation Vittles. A parallel British effort was called Operation Planefare. By late July, the "lift" had expanded to include 54 C-54 "Skymasters" and 105 C-47 "Gooney-Birds" of the U.S. Air Force and Navy, along with 40 Yorks and 50 Dakota aircraft of the Royal Air Force. By the end of August, all the forces were being controlled by a combined airlift task force. Eventually, a fleet of 200-300 C-54 s formed the backbone of this force. Aircraft flew constantly to West Berlin for 462 days, despite great odds. At the peak of the "Lift" in April 1949, the "Easter Parade" surge set a record of 12, 490 tons carried by 1,398 flights within 24 hours. The Allies used loading fields at Celle, Fassberg, Fuhlsbuettel, Luebeck, Rhein-Main, Wiesbaden, Wunstorf, and a seaplane base at Schleswigland. They off-loaded at Gatow (British), Tegel (French), Tempelhof (US) airports, and even the city lakes. Throughout the "Big Lift", aircrews dropped packages of chocolate and gum by tiny parachutes to the children of the city. On 12 May 1949, the Soviets admitted defeat by lifting the blockade. However, the "Air Bridge" continued through September to insure sufficient supplies would be stockpiled to thwart future blockades.
The "Lift" was the greatest peacetime airlift operation in history. As one official put it, "It was born in peace, lived in peace, and died in a peaceful world - - it kept the peace in Europe". It produced many significant achievements in aviation and air transportation history. It established airlift as a major factor in maintaining world peace. It demonstrated the need for dependable air traffic control and all-weather landing systems. More importantly, the airlift proved the ability of the collective human will to sustain freedom throughout the world. For 42 years, there were two Berlins. Until they were reunited in freedom.
Seventy-nine airlift personnel died to keep West Berlin alive. The names on the base of the "Luftbruecke" memorial monument recognize their sacrifice, and remain as an eternal symbol of the human desire for freedom. Those of us who know the price of freedom must forever keep it alive!
 Berlin Airlift Veterans Association - 1993"

Plaque on the left side of the monument:

"Berlin Air Lift Memorial, Rhein-Main Air Base Frankfurt/Main

Berliner Luftbruecken Denkmal, Rhein-Main Flughafen Frankfurt/Main

Replica of Berlin Airlift Memorial at Tempelhof
Nachbau Des Luftbrueckendenkmales Von Berlin Tempelhof

Wing Commander Colonel Ronnie C. Peoples
Originator Colonel Frank J. Kelly Jun. 

Initiator Colonel Ernest C. Peirolo

President of The Luftbruecke  Colonel Raymond D. Holden
Chapter Airlift Association

Projektleiter Gerd Bachmann 
 Oberbauleiter, RMAB

Bauleitung Staatsbauamt 1 Frankfurt/Main
 Baudirektor Martin Strippel

Technische Mitarbeit      Flughafen Frankfurt/Main AG
 Direktor Gottfried Meinicke

Audfuehrende Baufirma Philipp Holzmann AG

Plaque on the right side of the monument:

"Neugestaltung Luftbrückendenkmal 2008


Die 1985 errichtete Anlage wurde anlässlich des sechzigsten Jahrestages der Berliner Luftbrücke neu gestaltet. Sie wurde mit einer neuen Wegeführung ergänzt und der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht.


Während der Blockade Berlins durch die sowjetische Besatzungsmacht in den Jahren 1948-1949 wurden durch die ailiierten Streitkräfte mehr als 2,3 Mio. Tonnen Hilfsgüter in die eingeschlossene Stadt geflogen. Diese logistische Meisterleistung zur Versorgung einer ganzen Stadt fand zu einem Grossteil con der Rhein-Main Air Base aus statt. 79 Piloten und Helfer verloren bei diesem Einsatz ihr Leben.


Die Neugestalfung wurde mit folgender Unterstützung und Hilfe realisiert:


Sanierung der Flugzeuge

Mitarbeiter der Lufthansa Technical Training GmbH, Auszubildende, Flugzeugbauer und Freiwillige der Lufthansa Technik Gruppe WB 311, Freiwillige U.S. Air Force in Europa, AIR Base Ramstein, Containerstellung F. Kirchhoff Straflanbau GmbH & Co. KG



Ausz bilden le Fraport AG: Jahrgang Konstruktionmechanik 2007/08, Tiefbau STRABAG AG Darmatadt, Fa. Grünbau GmbH Aschaffenburg, Draht Hack Frankfurt, SLG Stahl und Leichtgerüstbau GmbH Mühlheim, Konzeption und Gestelfung sowie Planung und Realisierung Fraport AG"


English Translation:


"2008 Redesign of the Berlin Airlift Memorial 


The site, built in 1985, was redesigned in honor of the 60thanniversary of the Berlin Airlift. A new entrance was added that made the site accessible to the public. 


During the 1948-1949 Blockade of Berlin by the occupying Soviet forces, more than 2.3 million tons of goods were flown into the city by the armed forces. This logistical masterpiece was largely staged from the Rhein-Main Airbase. 79 pilots and crew members lost their lives during the operation. 


The refurbishment of the monument was realized with the following support:


Aircraft Renovation

Employees of Lufthansa Technical Training GMBH, Apprentices, Aircraft Manufacturers and Volunteers of the Lufthansa Technical Group WB 311, Volunteers from the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, and Container Producer F. Kirchhoff Straflanbau GmbH & Co. KG



Le Frapport AG: Vintage Construction Mechanics 2007/08, Civil Engineering STRABAG AG Darmatadt, Fa. Grünbau GmbH Aschaffenburg, Wire Hack Frankfurt, SLG Stahl und Leichtgerüstbau GmbH Mühlheim, Construction and Design, Planning, and Realization Fraport AG"

Donors plaque to the right of the monument:

"Berlin Airlift Memorial – Berlin Luftbrücke Denkmal

Rhein Main Airbase – Frankfurt – Main



Honorary Directors

Allen, James R., General USAF (ret.)

Benanty, Jack, Stateside Systems 

Goldring, Allen A., President OMS Corp.

Hooker, Malcom P., Brig. Gen. USAF (Ret.)

Huyser, Robert E., General USAF (Ret.)

Kelly, Frank J., Brig. General, USAF

Moore Jr., William G., General USAF (Ret.)

Ray, Charles L., Marketing, Lockheed

Sherman, Philip D., Chairman, Citibank AG

Shugrue, Martin R., Vice Chairman Pan Am

Dollinger, Werner, Minister of Traffic, FRG

Egon H., E.H. Harms GMBH

Lorenz, Peter, Parliamentary Secretary 

Anneliese, Gen. Manager, Steuben-Schurz


Berlin Airlift Memorial Committee

Colonel Billie B. Mills, Executive Director

Jack Legg, Deputy Director

Gerd Bachmann, Chairman-Constr. & Engineering

Capt. Jack O. Bennett, Chairman - Historical

Adrian Gilmore Bray, Chairman - Financial

Ltc. Norman Corbin, Chairman - Legal

Charles Heckmann, Chairman - Memorialization

William I. Norton, Chairman - Publicity

Gerdi Rausch, Chairman - Administration

Warren Stanley, Chairman - Fundraising 

Robert E. Altee, Advisor


Officers, Luftbruecke Chapter of Airlift Association

Colonel Raymond D. Holden - President

Eberhard Bock - Vice President

Capt. Elizabeth Davis - Vice President

Major Wayne R. Price - Treasurer

1stLt. James J. Wilkins - Secretary


In Recognition Of The Major Doners – In Anerkennung Der Spender



Frankfurt Main AG


American Airlines

Robert L. Crandell, Chairman and President.


AFN TV – Guide

Robert E. Beltz, Publisher


ACES Military Charter Flights 

Hofa-Gevaert AG

Airlift Association

ALWA Company, Ltd. 

AKAI Electronic Co., Ltd.

Alfred Massa GMBH

American Express Intern. Banking Corp.

American Intern. Underwriters

American National Insurance Co.

American Telephone & Telegraph

American Travel Service

Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Audi AG

AUSA General Creighton W. Abrams Chapter

Axel Springer Verlac

Bache Securities, Inc.

Bayer AG

Bayerische Motorenwerke AG

Belfort Furniture GMBH

Benson & Hedges

Berentzen & Co. KG

Best Foods

Borg-Warner Automotice

Bratengeier Jean

Bridges, Tim & Nancy

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.

Burger King GMBH

Cancn, N.C.

Carpenter, Dave & Sandy

Casio Computer 

Chase Bank AG

Coca Cola GMBH

Colgate Palmolive Company

Convent Knabber Gebaeck GMBH

Coonan, Dan

Frankfurt Plaza


David Jones Sporting GMBH

Davis, Norris

Deltona Corporation

Deutsche SISI Werke GMBH

Doris Muehl’s Clock Shop

Downey, Clyde J

Dyckerhoff & Widmann AG


Eurocard Deutschland 

Faberge, Inc.

Flessner GMBH & Co.

Ford Parts Division Cologne

Fort Fun

“Friends Of The Berlin Airlift Memorial”

Frischland Gastronomie Service

GEBRE Bommhardt

General Foods International

General Mills, Inc.

German National Tourist Board

GMK Furniture

Gradlyn Kennels

Harms, E.H. GMBH

Hebbel & Erk Ortenberg

Heilit & Woerner Bau AG

Heinbich Ruester KG

Herta KG

Hoechst AG

Holiday Inn

Holiday Park

Horizon Furniture GMBH

IBM Deutschland GMBH

Ideal Home Furnishings

Jack Daniel Distillery

James B. Beam Distilling Co.

Janick PLT Shipping

Johnson GMBH

Johnson Products Co. Inc.


Kaethe Wohlfahrt Christkindl Markt

Karl Hofmann II KG

Kodak AG

Kraft Inc.

Lanier GMBH

Lever Brothers

Leverone, Micky

Ligon, Joybeth

Long & Foster Realtors

Loewenbraeu AG

Mainzer Austellungs GMBH

McDonald’s GMBH

McDonnell Douglas Corporation

Mensing Art Gallery

Messerschmidt Boelkow-Blohm GMBH

Military Car Sales Frankfurt

Miller Brewing Company

3 M Deutschland GMBH


Northwest Airlines

Occidental Life Insurance Company

Orient Corporation

Oskar Mayer

Pan American World Airlines

Paradise Furnishings

Peat, Marwick, Mitchel & Co.

Pfaff AG

Philipp Holzmann AG

Philip Morris GMBH (Germany)

Philip Morris Internaitonal New York

Prudential Insurance Company

Revlon, Inc.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Intern., S.A.

SAAB Deutschland GMBH

Samsung Electronics GMBH

Sanyo Electronic Trading Co. Ltd.

S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 


Shering AG

Seagram Overseas Sales Company

Senator Moebel

Seney, Steve & Ann

Sheraton Hotel Frankfurt

Shoppers Bi-Weekly News

Soft Sheen Products, Inc.

Sony Corporation

Sosnowski, Dr. F. 

Stadt Dietzenbach

Stadt Frankfurt AM Main

Stadt Hochheim AM Main

Stadt Kelsterbach

Stadt Langen

Stadt Neuisenburg 

Sun Tours

T’s On Top

TDK Electronic Europe

Tengelmann Group A & P

The O’Seas Post

Thomas J. Lipton Inc.

Top Tours

Toshiba Corporation

Trans World Airlines


U.S. Army Recruiting Command

U.S.O. – Frankfurt

Victor Neff GMBH

Volkswagen AG

Volvo Deutschland GMBH

W.D. Warren Company KG

Warner Heymann Celeste

Warner-Lambert Co.

W.E. Dleplan Consulting GMBH

Wessel Lottery

Westphal GMBH

World Airways

Worlds C.E.


AFN TV – Guide Doners

Special Thanks To All Those Contributors, Space Did Not Allow Us To Recognize"