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Gail Halvorsen's story began long before he flew planes full of candy over post-war Berlin. Discover how the compassion Gail showed in Germany began with lessons learned in childhood, lessons like gratitude, hope, and serving others. Illustrated with gorgeous photographs, this fitting tribute to an unforgettable act of charity will inspire you to keep kindness alive and look for the good all around you.
Gail S. Halvorsen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and grew up on small farms in Utah and Idaho. He earned a private pilot license under the noncollege Civilian Pilot Training Program in September of 1941. Almost concurrently, Gail joined the Civil Air Patrol as a pilot. He joined the United States Army Air Corps in June 1942. After receiving fighter pilot training with the Royal Air Force, he was assigned flight duty in the South Atlantic Theater. After World War II, he flew in the Berlin Airlift, where he became known as "Uncle Wiggly Wings," the "Chocolate Flyer," and the "Berlin Candy Bomber." In 1952, he earned a Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. In 1973, he earned a second Masters degree in Counseling and Guidance through a Wayne State "On Base" education program. He worked for the U.S. Air Force for most of his life, retiring in 1974 with over 8,000 flying hours. He has received numerous Air Force decorations, as well as many other awards and honors in his lifetime. He married Alta Jolley in 1949 and raised a family with her. After she passed away in 1999, he married Lorraine Pace.