0n 12 May 1949, the Berlin Blockade ended.
At the end of WWII, the Allies and the Soviets partitioned Germany and Berlin into zones, but Berlin itself was wholly within the greater Soviet zone that would soon become East Germany (DDR). The allies supplied their western zones primarily by land (rail, canal, & road) through a corridor from what would become West Germany (FRG).
The Berlin Airlift
On 24 June 1948, the Soviets, upset at the Allies’ actions in West Berlin, blockaded the land routes. The Allies decided to airlift in all of W. Berlin’s needs. The new U.S. Air Force (1947) took the lead and launched “Operation Vittles,” better known as the Berlin Airlift. The work was non-stop; hard on people and aircraft, but it succeeded. The Soviets backed down on 12 May 1949.
OPERATION VITTLES started on 26 June 1948 and ended on 30 Sep 1949. USAF aircraft delivered more than 1.5 m. tons of coal, food, other supplies, & more than 60K passengers. C-47 Skytrains and C-54 Skymasters did most of the work.
Staff Sergeant Oscar Hoover Linzy
The photo is of SSG Oscar H. Linzy (my Dad) sporting his Berlin Airlift Operation Vittles ribbon (middle, bottom). Dad had previously served in the U.S. Army Air Forces, but stayed in the Army when the USAF separated. Army personnel were still a significant part of the USAF in skills and training well into the early 1950s.