Remembering the Berlin Airlift

Remembering the Berlin Airlift

Sixty years ago this week, the Berlin Airlift got underway. West Berlin was cut off on all sides by Soviet troops, who closed all land access to the city.

Globemaster supply plane at Gatow airport

Sixty-five people lost their lives during the operation

For 11 months, American and British planes flew in more than 12.3 million tonnes of food, diesel, coal and sweets in what still stands as the largest humanitarian aid operation ever.

Berliners watching the planes coming in

The airlift continued throughout the harsh winter weather

Captain Stan Sickelmore - now 86 - had served in the Royal Air Force during the war suddenly found himself helping the same people who just three years earlier had been helping to bomb.

Listen Listen here (1 min 57 secs)

Amongst those on the receiving end of this aid was Traute Grier, who was 16 at the time.

Listen Listen here (2 mins 54 secs)

First broadcast 23 June 2008