“Candy Bomber” passes away at 101
Col Gail Halvorsen who became known as the “Candy Bomber” during the Berlin Airlift passed away at the age of 101. Col Halvorsen was assigned as a pilot flying C-54s and C-47s during “Operation Vittles,” as the Berlin Airlift was called. During a stop in Berlin, he met some children and was touched by their appreciation of the Airlift operation. Wanting to make their life better, he devised a plan to drop candy for them from his plane using small parachutes made of handkerchiefs. Once Lt Gen William Tunner, who was in charge of the operation, found out about the airdrops, he approved and expanded the operation, which was called “Little Vittles,” with the whole squadron buying candy and assembling the parcels. The operation continued until the Soviet Union lifted their blockade. Col Halvorson received multiple awards during his service to the Air Force and the award for outstanding achievement in air transport was named for him. Gen CQ Brown, Jr. (CSAF) said on Twitter, “Gail made such a positive impact on this world as the ‘Candy Bomber,’ dropping 23 tons of candy to children during the Berlin Airlift. He will be remembered for his kindness and bringing joy to those who desperately needed it.”
Alice Price, former Chief of the Art Program, passed away on January 21, 2022.
Alice Browne Price, nearly 96, passed away in San Antonio, TX. She was born February 17, 1926, in Philadelphia, PA. During World War II she joined the Army Air Corps for 14 months until the war ended. She held several government positions before marrying Harry W. Price in 1954, and raising three children.
She would walk the hallways of the Pentagon and say hello to everyone she encountered. Alice was so admired by her neighbors at the Laurels Assisted Living home, that she was elected president of the Resident’s Board for two full terms. Alice was born into a family of artists and her art background and administrative skills came to the forefront, meriting her selection in 1976 as the Assistant Chief of the Arts and Museum Branch, Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Information. Alice was named Chief of the branch in 1979, the first civilian to hold that position.
Alice guided the Art Program for almost two decades through unprecedented growth and expanded outreach. The program owned 3,500 pieces in 1976, however when Alice retired in 1993 there were 7,800 pieces in the collection, and over 300 artists actively involved. According to the Society of Illustrators, "...as part of the Air Force Art Program, illustrators were given the opportunity to travel around the world to military facilities and exercises to record these events and donate their works to a grateful nation.” To thank Alice for her efforts on their behalf, the Society presented her with its prestigious Dean Cornwell Recognition Award in 2001. Alice received the Secretary of the Air Force Civilian Meritorious Service Award twice for her superior stewardship of the Art Program. In 2021, she was inducted into the Air Force Public Affairs Hall of Fame Pioneers class as its only female member. It was the recognition she was most proud of.
The Department of the Air Force Art program will remain forever grateful for the efforts of Ms. Price, and the initiatives and work she did laid a solid foundation for the branch for years to come. Thank you.