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Berlin Airlift Monument

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At the intersection of Willy Brandt Allee and Schiersteiner Straße. Monument

A red, rectangular granite block monument which commemorates the names of 31 American servicemen and civilian who died in service during the Berlin Airlift operations.


The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control. The Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutsche Mark from West Berlin.


The Western Allies organised the Berlin Airlift (also known as Berliner Luftbrücke, literally "Berlin Air Bridge" in German) from 26 June 1948 to 30 September 1949 to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin, a difficult feat given the size of the city's population. Aircrews from the American, British, French, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and South African:338 air forces flew over 200,000 sorties in one year, providing necessities such as fuel and food, with the original plan being to lift 3,475 tons of supplies daily. By the spring of 1949, that number was often met twofold, with the peak daily delivery totalling 12,941 tons.


Having initially concluded there was no way the airlift could work, its continued success became an increasing embarrassment for the Soviets. On 12 May 1949, the USSR lifted the blockade of West Berlin, although for a time the Americans and British continued to supply the city by air as they were worried that the Soviets would resume the blockade and were only trying to disrupt western supply lines. The Berlin Airlift officially ended on 30 September 1949 after fifteen months. The US Air Force had delivered 1,783,573 tons (76.40% of total) and the RAF 541,937 tons (23.30% of total), totalling 2,334,374 tons, nearly two-thirds of which was coal, on 278,228 flights to Berlin.


The C-47s and C-54s together flew over 92,000,000 miles (148,000,000 km) in the process, almost the distance from Earth to the Sun. At the height of the Airlift, one plane reached West Berlin every thirty seconds.


Seventeen American and eight British aircraft crashed during the operation. A total of 101 fatalities were recorded as a result of the operation, including 40 Britons and 31 Americans, mostly due to non-flying accidents.


The Berlin Blockade served to highlight the competing ideological and economic visions for postwar Europe and played a major role in drawing West Germany into the NATO orbit several years later in 1955.

Source of information:

Monument Text:






BERLIN 1948-49







1st Lieutenant Ralph H. Boyd

Petty Officer 3d Class Harry R. Crites Jr.

Captain Joel M. Devolentine

Major Edwin C. Diltz

1st Lieutenant Eugene S. Erickson

Mr. Karl von Hagen (Civilian)

1st Lieutenant Willis F. Hargis

Technical Sergeant Herbert F. Heinig

Captain William R. Howard

1st Lieutenant Charles H.King

1st Lieutenant Craig B.Ladd

2d Lieutenant Donald J. Leemon

1st Lieutenant William T. Lucas

1st Lieutenant Robert C. von Luehrte

Private First Class Jonnie T. Orms

Captain Billy E. Phelps

Technical Sergeant Charles L. Putnam

Captain William A. Rathgeber

1st Lieutenant George B. Smith

1st Lieutenant Royce C. Stephens

Private Ronald E. Stone

1st Lieutenant Robert W. Stuber

Corporal Norbert H. Theis

Captain James A. Vaughan

Sergeant Bernard J. Watkins

1st Lieutenant Robert P. Weaver

Technical Sergeant Lloyd G. Wells

1st Lieutenant Lowell A. Wheaton Jr.

1st Lieutenant Leland V. Williams

Sergeant Richard Winter

1st Lieutenant Richard M. Wurgel



Ralph H. Boyd

Harry R., Jr. Crites

Joel Monroe Devolentine

Edwin Cary Diltz

Eugene Samuel Erickson

Karl Von Hagen

Willis Franklin Hargis

Herbert F. Heinig

William Riley “Billy” Howard

Charles H. King

Craig Burton Ladd

Donald J. Leemon

William Thomas, Jr. Lucas

Johnnie Thomas Orms

Billy E. Phelps

Charles Lee Putnam

William Albert Rathgeber

George B. Smith

Royce Coy Stephens

Ronald E. Stone

Robert Wallace Stuber

Norbert H. Theis

James A. Vaughan

Robert C. von Luehrte

Bernard Jerard Watkins

Robert Porter Weaver

Lloyd G. Wells

Lowell Adair, Jr. Wheaton

Leland V. Williams

Richard Winter

Richard Melvin Wurgel


10th Troop Carrier Group

1263rd Air Transport Squadron

1273rd Air Transport Squadron

14th Troop Carrier Squadron, 61st Troop Carrier Group

40th Troop Carrier Squadron

439th Troop Carrier Group

48th Troop Carrier Squadron

513th Troop Carrier Group

53rd Troop Carrier Squadron

60th Troop Carrier Command

61st Air Installation Squadron

7100 Headquarters Command Wing

7234 Food Service Squadron

7290 Air Base Group

United States Air Force


Cold War



Berlin Airlift

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