The Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948 to May 11, 1949) was one of the first major crises of the new Cold War. It began when the Soviets blocked railroad and street access by the three Western powers (the Americans, British, and French) to the Western-occupied sectors of Berlin. The crisis abated after the Western powers bypassed the blockade by establishing the Berlin Airlift, demonstrating both their dedication to the cause of supplying their zones, as well as the industrial might of the West and its air force's capabilities.
One of the many American pilots to fly the USAF C-54 Skymaster during the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 ("Operation Vittles") was Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen of Provo, Utah. During the operation he became known as the "Candy Bomber" because he repeatedly dropped candy to German children from his aircraft on approach to the runways.