On June 23, 1948, the Soviet Union announced it would no longer allow the Western Allies access by land into West Berlin, the heart of East Germany. This resulted in the massive “Berlin Airlift.”
Between June 26, 1948 and May 1949, all of West Berlin’s food and fuel were airlifted over the Russianoccupied zone by waves of United States and Royal Air Force transport planes.
One half of my Air Sea Rescue Squadron was put on alert to leave for Germany as soon as possible.
On June 30, 1948, we arrived at Rhein Main Air Field, Germany. I had a call from my commander to report to him. My assignment for on-job training in the printing career field had come through and he had orders for me to report to Lackland Field, Texas.
I would leave on a C-54 transport plane in two hours, and would land at Kelly Field, one mile from Lackland.
I saw very little of Germany the two days I was there, but I saw a great deal of Texas in the next two years.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover is a former Letcher County resident now living in Fairfield, Calif.