Executive Director’s Message It has been my privilege to have known Gail Halvorsen – the Berlin Candy Bomber – for many years, and to work at his side since 2016 leading the Gail S. Halvorson Aviation Education Foundation. Gail was a kind friend, a wise counselor, and a positive role model. Gail’s remarkable life of service deserves to be remembered and studied due to the many facets which hold significance for our times.
The mission of the Gail S. Halvorsen Aviation Education Foundation is to:
Preserve the legacy of the Berlin Candy Bomber – Gail’s life of service took him across the globe, influencing and serving those he met. Due to the winds of time, his footprints for good may gradually be erased unless we take measures now to ensure their continued presence. Through educational activities and displays at the Halvorsen Heritage Center, we will portray Gail’s life and service in a manner to inspire us to be and to do better. With the assistance of our partners, we will portray the importance of air mobility in humanitarian service across the years and how we each can be Candy Bombers in our own right.
Promote the principles of gratitude, service, and excellence – Gail’s principles served as a sure footing for his life. Now, more than ever, living a principled life is needed in our society. We will abide by Gail’s principles in all that we do and provide in the community; we will take every opportunity to share these principles with all who enter our sphere of influence.
Inspire children to reach their dreams – Gail has remarked on many occasions that “children hold the future of the whole world in their hands.” He understood the importance of investing in children. From two sticks of gum at the Tempelhof’s fence in 1948 to virtual school visits in 2022, Gail recognized the importance of investing in children to encourage them to achieve their potential. We will continue that effort through providing educational activities that inspire and encourage children to find and reach their dreams.
Foster community cohesion – Gail made every person he met his friend; he recognized the common bond of humanity in everyone. The quality of our communities is based on the strength of our connections and of our common interests. We will continually work at improving the relationships in our community among people, and with industry, educational institutions, and community organizations to strengthen the community service spirit here. The Halvorsen Heritage Center will host like-minded service organizations whose values align with ours like Civil Air Patrol.
Colonel James Stewart, USAF (Ret)