The daring activities of Gail Halvorsen will be presented in class. Students will then be asked to formulate a plan to create and hopefully implement their own service activity.
Gail Halvorsen provided the epitome of selflessness, as he became the Candy Bomber during the Berlin Airlift. This service activity for betterment of humanity is a spirit that is desirable to instill in the youth of our society. In addition to addressing American and World History content standards, the goals of the social studies is to instill virtuous civic responsibility in our students.
Students will develop a service activity to benefit their local community.
2aD-Describe and evaluate the evolution of the United States domestic and foreign policy including the Cold War.
2bG-Examine the wars of the 20th century, including: causes, comparisons, consequences, and peace efforts.
3B-Compare and contrast governmental systems, current and historical, including those that are democratic and totalitarian.
7B-Distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).
1. (K) explains why the United States emerged as a superpower as the result of World War II.
2.(A) analyzes the origins of the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the Soviet Bloc, Mao’s victory in China, Marshall Plan, Berlin Blockade, Iron Curtain).
Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.
1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.
Map of the city of Berlin-
Map of the flight corridor during the Berlin Airlift-
Halvorsen, Gail S. The Berlin Candy Bomber. Springville, UT: Horizon Publishers, 1997.
Airlift Photographs - https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/library/online-collections/berlin-airlift?section=4
Documents Concerning the Berlin Airlift - https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/library/online-collections/berlin-airlift?section=1
Berlin Airlift Cartoons- http://berlinairliftveteransassociation.org/jake-schuffert-airlift-cartoonist/
Chocolate Flyer Photographs - https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/blog/the-candy-bomber/
Primary and secondary sources may be acquired via the Internet.
The Berlin Airlift and the Candy Bombers
Background to the Berlin Airlift
*How many zones of occupation was Germany divided into?
*Why was Truman considered “soft” on communism?
*Besides economic security for the German people, what advantage to the United States would a “Trizone” create?
*What motivations did the Soviet Union have for pursuing a Berlin blockade?
From the Director of the CIA
Read Director of the CIA R. H. Hillenkoetter’s memorandum to President Truman found here. Answer the following question.
*How accurate is Hillenkoetter’s prediction in his letter to President Truman?
On the Lighter Side
View some of the cartoons drawn by Staff Sergeant Jake Schuffert found here. Answer the following questions.
*What were Jake Schuffert’s motivations for drawing his cartoons?
*Choose one cartoon and describe what view Schuffert was trying to express.
The Candy Bomber
Read the website and watch the video on Gail Halvorsen to answer the following questions.
*What were Gail Halvorsen’s motivations for beginning the candy bombing raids?
*Many of the same pilots that delivered supplies in the Berlin Airlift had bombed Germany during World War II. How could the pilots change their attitude about the German people in such a short period of time?
*Would have Gail Halvorsen’s superiors supported his efforts if he had asked permission prior to the candy bombing raids?
*What lasting impact did the Berlin Airlift and candy bombing raids have on history?
*How did the Berlin Airlift support Truman’s policy of containment?
*How might have Truman’s handling of the blockade lead to greater tension in the Cold War?
*Do you agree with Truman’s handling of the Berlin Blockade? Explain.
This lesson will be introduced in the Cold War unit when the Berlin Blockade and Berlin Airlift is addressed. As the airlift is discussed, students will be provided access to the primary and secondary sources listed above. Most important are the personal film footage of Gail Halvorsen and his detailing of becoming the Candy Bomber and “Uncle Wiggly Wings.” Students will gain an insight to the personal sacrifices necessary to develop a service mindset.
Following the presentation on the Berlin Airlift and the Candy Bomber, students will be asked to fill out the attached reflection worksheet. Once the sheet has been filled out, a class discussion will be used to have students share their viewpoints and ideas for service programs.
Reflection on the Candy Bomber
1. What part of Gail Halvorsen’s story touched you the most?
2. What did Halvorsen consider to be most important to achieve personal satisfaction?
3. What short-term effects were there because of the Candy Bomber?
4. What long-term effects were there because of the Candy Bomber?
5. Is it still possible to affect people in the manner that Halverson did? Explain.
6. Describe a person or group that you know that could use your assistance.
7. Describe a service program you could implement.
Students will be evaluated on their participation in class, including filling out the worksheet. As the sheet is based on personal reflections, there can be no right or wrong answers. Therefore, it will be graded on completion and participation in the class discussion
Ultimately, the goal of this activity is to instill a service attitude in students. Hopefully, students will become civic-minded and take steps to implement the service programs that they brainstormed in class. If the teacher wishes, credit can be provided for implementation of these programs.