World War II ‘Candy Bomber’ expected to recreate iconic candy drops

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OREM, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Some lucky kids in Orem are getting a sweet opportunity this weekend. The World War II “Candy Bomber” is recreating his iconic candy flights.

“I’ll never forget the first time in Berlin. There were all these kids on the other side of the fence. I said, don’t worry, we won’t give up on you,” said Ret. Col. Gail Halverson, in the movie “Meet the Mormons.”

The man known as the “Candy Bomber” from World War II is at it again.

“The only true course of happiness I’ve found in my life is to help someone who needs help and is grateful for that help,” said Halverson, in an new interview.

This weekend retired Colonel Gail Halverson is hopping into a World War II Lockhead PV2 Bomber and recreating his icon candy drops from 1948.

“We did it 3 weeks, every time we got a new ration, once a week for 3 weeks, we’d drop 3 times 3 weeks, wiggle the wings, the crowd was getting bigger every week,” said Halverson.

Halverson said during the war he was touched by the gratitude of young Berlin children he met behind a barbed wire fence.

“I turned to leave and then I realized for the first time not one had been a beggar for something so extravagant as chocolate,” he said.

To show his gratitude in return, he gathered army rationed chocolate and dropped it from parachutes to happy kids below. Soon his flying friends joined the cause, and in all they dropped more than 23 tons of chocolate to children during the war.

“We had a huge map in operations and we’d put a pin where we’d made the drop,” Halverson said.

Although the PV2 Bomber wasn’t the plane Halverson used during the original flights, it will be what takes the air this weekend in Orem. It will drop 1,000 candy bars to kids during a ceremony Friday afternoon; and the plane’s owner is grateful to be apart of it.

“You can’t really put a price tag on it, I mean our paydays are opportunities like this,” said Dave Hansen, owner.

And, Halverson is grateful to share the candy story one more time.

“It emphasized to me the importance of little decisions you make put your footsteps on the path of where you’ll end up for good or for ill,” said Halverson.

If you’d like to attend the candy drop, it’s taking place Friday at 4:00 p.m. behind SCERA Elementary in Orem. The flight is part of a ceremony with two other planes, including a speech by Halverson at 11:30 a.m. For more information, click on this link to criesoffreedom.com.

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