Gail Halvorsen

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Date of Birth October 10, 1920
Place of Birth Salt Lake City, Utah
Age 100 years old
Horoscope Libra

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Colonel Gail Seymour "Hal" Halvorsen is a retired officer and command pilot in the United States Air Force. He is best known as the "Berlin Candy Bomber" or "Uncle Wiggly Wings" and gained fame for dropping candy to German children during the Berlin Airlift from 1948 to 1949. Halvorsen grew up in rural Utah but always had a desire to fly. He earned his private pilot's license in 1941 and then joined the Civil Air Patrol. He joined the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 and was assigned to Germany on July 10, 1948, to be a pilot for the Berlin Airlift. Halvorsen piloted C-47s and C-54s during the Berlin airlift. During that time he founded "Operation Little Vittles", an effort to raise morale in Berlin by dropping candy via miniature parachute to the city's residents. Halvorsen began "Little Vittles" with no authorization from his superiors but over the next year became a national hero with support from all over the United States.

Born: October 10, 1920, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Service/branch: United States Army Air Forces
Years of service: 1942−1974
Rank: Colonel
Battles/wars: World War II, Berlin airlift
Awards: Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Congressional Gold Medal, Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Spouse(s): Alta Jolley (1949–99, her death), Lorraine Pace (2004–present)
IMDb: Gail Halvorsen's IMDb

About Gail Halvorsen

Most famous as the first "Candy Bomber" or "Raisin Bomber" to airlift supplies to West Berlin, Germany during the 1948 to 1949 Soviet blockade of the city, this United States Air Force Pilot also became known for his missionary work on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Before Fame

Before joining the United States Army Air Corps at the start of World War II, he was a pilot with the U.S. Civil Air Patrol. He later earned an advanced degree in Aeronautical Engineering.


As a result of his involvement in the West Berlin Airlift operation, he was given a number of nicknames, including the "Chocolate Flyer" and "Uncle Wiggly Wings."

Family Life

He was raised in a Mormon household in Salt Lake City, Utah. His first marriage, to Alta Jolley, resulted in five children; his second marriage (following Jolley's 1999 death) was to his high school girlfriend, Lorraine Pace.


United States Army officer Lucius Clay was the primary architect of the Berlin Airlift operation in which Halvorsen participated.

Information related to Gail Halvorsen

  • Official site
  • 2220 Gail S. Halvorsen collection, MSS 2220 at L. Tom Perry Special Collections , Brigham Young University
  • Military Honor Page Records, stories and photos about Gail Halvorsen
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Latest information about Gail Halvorsen updated on January 22, 2021.

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