Gail S. Halvorsen papers on post-military retirement, 1948-2018
Scope and Contents
Contains papers, media, and memorabilia documenting the life of Gail S. Halvorsen after his retirement from the United States Air Force. Includes records of his continued contact with Germany, his humanitarian activities, and candy drops and visits he performed at various locations around the globe. Materials dated 1948-2017.
- Halvorsen, Gail S. (creator, Person)
Language of Materials
Materials in English and German.
Conditions Governing Access
Open for public research.
Conditions Governing Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Gail S. Halvorsen papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.
Halvorsen retains all rights to the materials except to allow them to be used in research. Proper credit must be given to the author when cited.
Gail S. Halvorsen (1920- ) is a pilot, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a local ecclesiastical leader in Arizona and Utah.
Gail Seymour Halvorsen was born on October 10, 1920 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was raised on farms in Utah and Idaho, and at age 21 earned a private pilot license under the non-college Civilian Pilot Training program in September 1941. After joining the United States Army Air Corps in June 1942, he was assigned to the South Atlantic Theater as a pilot flying transport operations.
After World War II he flew in the Berlin Airlift, where he became known as "Uncle Wiggly Wings", the "Chocolate Flyer", and the "Berlin Candy Bomber" after dropping candy attached to parachutes to the children of blockaded Berlin. His actions sparked interest in the United States, and individuals and groups all over the country donated candy and handkerchief parachutes to be given to Berlin children. He returned to the United States in January of 1949, five months before the end of the blockade.
After his return home he married Alta Jolley, with whom he later had five children, on April 16, 1949. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in aeronautical engineering at the University of Florida, finishing in 1952. Halvorsen graduated from Air Command and Staff College in 1958. He was assigned to the Air Force Space Systems Division and then the Foreign Technology Division of Air Force Systems Command working at air force bases around America and Germany. He served at Vandenberg Tracking Station in California working on the Dyna Soar missile project and the Titan III Space Launch Vehicle until 1970, when he moved back to Berlin with his family to serve as commander of Tempelhof Central Airport from 1970-1974.
Colonel Halvorsen retired from the military in 1974, when he moved to Provo and took a position as the Dean of Student Life at Brigham Young University until 1984. He served missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his wife, Alta Halvorsen, in the England South Mission from 1986-1987, and in the St. Petersburg Russia Mission from 1995-1997. Throughout his retirement he has traveled extensively for numerous speaking events and candy drops, largely around the United States.
Gail and Alta Halvorsen had twenty-four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Alta passed away on January 21, 1999. Gail Halvorsen is now married to Lorraine Pace, who has three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
14 oversize boxes
40 oversize folders
3 sound discs
Arranged into fourteen subseries: 1. Gail S. Halvorsen ephemera from events, 1974-2018. 2. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of art and literature on the Berlin Airlift, 1981-2014. 3. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of ephemera from schools, 1989-2017. 4. Papers on the autobiography of Gail S. Halvorsen, 1990-2010. 5. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of essays, books, and other materials related to the Berlin Airlift, 1974-2014. 6. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of transcripts of interviews and speeches, 1977-2013. 7. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of firsthand accounts of WWII and the Berlin Airlift, 1962-2010. 8. Gail S. Halvorsen writings on airlift and other topics, 1984-2017. 9. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of brochures, 1949-2015. 10. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of video, audio, and digital media, 1975-2017. 11. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of newspapers, magazines, and articles, 1970-2016. 12. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of books, 1925-2017. 13. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of maps, approximately 1949-2017. 14. Gail S. Halvorsen collection of artifacts, 1948-2011
- Berlin (Germany) -- History -- 20th century
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
- Halvorsen, Gail S. -- Archives
- Halvorsen, Gail S. -- Family
- Mormons -- Germany -- History
- Papers (Documents)
- Retired military personnel -- United States
- Souvenirs (Keepsakes)
Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States