The Candy Bomber on the tarmac at the Dare County Airport.
The Candy Bomber has had the Outer Banks in its sights for the past 18 years, but the 2017 run scheduled December 17 at the Dare County Airport, may be the last candy run for the iconic symbol of the best of the United States.
In 1948 Berlin was a city surrounded by Communist East Germany and the Russians were determined to force the Allies to give up their claim to the city. To accomplish their goal, the Russians and East Germany sealed off all land transport to the city from West Germany.
What followed was one of the most remarkable airlifts ever—the Berlin Airlift. From June 1948 until September of 1949, every 90 seconds a plane was taking off or landing in Berlin, bringing the supplies needed to keep a city of two million from starvation.
One of the pilots, Lt. Gail Halvorsen saw groups of kids gathered at the end of the runway and felt they needed something to lift their spirits. He told them the next time he was flying in he would wiggle his wings and drop candy for them.
What followed was the legend of the Candy Bomber. Tying packets of candy to miniature parachutes he made good on his promise.
In an interview he mentioned he would have gotten in a lot of trouble for his act, but the American press heard about it and spread the word. Soon almost all American planes were dropping candy as they approached the airport.
Halvorson, who is 97 now, retired as a Lt. Colonel from the Air Force. He has kept the legend of the Candy Drop alive, visiting numerous towns and cities over the years, taking the time to tell the story to local school children.
The highlight of his visit is a the C54, the same type of aircraft that flew the candy runs for the Berlin Airlift, and, most exciting of all—the candy drop.
The candy run is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.