"The Berlin Airlift-A Legacy of Friendship" is an exhibit honoring the 60th anniversary of the humanitarian effort commonly known as The Berlin Airlift. The exhibit is presented in part by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following a month-long showing at SeaTac International Airport, The Museum of Flight will be its final Northwest destination during a year-long tour of the United States. The exhibit features over 60 photo panels, and is on view at the Museum from Jan. 10 - Feb. 8, 2009.
"The Western Allies were determined not to repeat the mistakes made after the First World War," says The Museum of Flight Senior Curator Dan Hagedorn. "The airlift that evolved was a manifestation of their positive approach to post-war reconstruction." Using cargo planes that could carry only three to eight tons of supplies, an unstoppable stream of transports delivered almost two and half million tons during the 14-month operation. "It was, collectively, up to that time, one of the finest applications of airpower ever conceived," adds Hagedorn.
After World War II, the Allied powers who had defeated Germany in 1945, divided the country into four occupation zones. The United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France each were to occupy a part of Germany. On June 24, 1948, in an attempt to drive the Western Allies out of the city and its occupation zone, the Soviet Union began a blockade of the land- and waterways to Berlin.
Together with Great Britain and France, the United States took a stand to protect the freedom of Berlin. The terms of access by air were regulated by an air safety agreement, which guaranteed the Western Allies the use of three air corridors to Berlin. So, they took to the skies and supplied more than 2 million men, women and children with life's essentials for over a year.
One of many touching stories of the airlift is about the so-called "candy bombers," who dropped little parachutes bearing candy to the children of the Berlin. On Jan. 31, author Andrei Cherny will be at the Museum to talk about his popular book on the subject, The Candy Bombers.
For more info about the exhibit from the German Embassy:
www.Germany.Info/airlift Please contact Museum PR for Seattle-area interview opportunities regarding the Berlin Airlift. The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air and spacecraft, as well as the Red Barn®--the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs - the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only aviation and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $7.50 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org.