Tributes pour in after death of ‘Candy Bomber’ Gail Halvorsen

Feb 17, 2022, 11:28 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:37 pm

SPANISH FORK, Utah — The tributes are pouring in for the late Col. Gail Halvorsen, affectionately known as the Berlin “Candy Bomber.”

He died Wednesday evening at the age of 101.

James Stewart, the executive director of Halvorsen’s Aviation Education Foundation, said he felt blessed to serve alongside Halvorsen since 2007. He said Halvorsen was a light to so many people and that continued through his final moments.

‘Candy Bomber’ Gail Halvorsen passes away at age 101

“I really felt like a relationship with Gail, like a second father.”

Millions like Stewart heard the story of the beloved “Candy Bomber” dropping tiny parachutes of food to save millions of Germans from starving in 1948.

“That says something about America,” Stewart said. “That we helped a former enemy get back on their feet.”

The experience affected Halvorsen for the rest of his life, and he constantly gave back through his Aviation Education Foundation.

“He was a founding member of the board of directors and we were just proud to be able to work together,” said Stewart.

Halvorsen drew people in, but he was more interested in learning about others.

“They wanted to hear about Gail and he (said), ‘No I’m boring. I want to hear about you.’”

He never took his platform for granted and in his final days, relayed a simple message.

This video was posted to the foundation’s Facebook page:

“Hello friend. Have an attitude of gratitude. You’ll be OK.”

Stewart vows to keep his legacy alive.

“It falls to us to keep this story going,” he said. “Let’s do it!”

The foundation is raising money right now to open a new heritage center in Halvorsen’s honor at the Spanish Fork Airport.



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Tributes pour in after death of ‘Candy Bomber’ Gail Halvorsen