BERLIN AIRLIFT DEVICE FOR WORLD WAR II OCCUPATION MEDALS

One of the Cold War’s defining moments, the Berlin Airlift was launched on June 26, 1948 in response to the Soviet blockade of all surface and waterway entrances into West Berlin, the portion of the German capital under the control of the Americans, British, and French. The Berlin Airlift Device was established to recognize members of United States Armed Forces units who served at least 92 consecutive days with a unit credited with taking part in the operation. (The device could also be awarded on an individual basis by what regulations specify as a “competent field authority.”) It was worn on the suspension and suspension ribbons of World War II Occupation medals.
 
The Berlin Airlift device features a miniature (3/8” wingspan) C-54 Skymaster, one of the workhorses of the 15-month operation. Although the Soviets announced the end of the blockade on May 9, 1949, the airlift continued for several months to ensure adequate surpluses were built up in case the airlift should need to be reinstituted. September 30, 1949 marked the official end of the airlift and signaled a public-relations “win” for the United States in these nascent days of the Cold War.
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