In 1948, Germany had been decimated by WWII. Russia was blockading food-bearing trucks, trains, and boats. US and Britain responded by airdropping tons of food to the 2.5 million Berliners, calling the action “Operation Vittles”
Gale Halvorsen, a 27 y.o. US pilot involved with dropping supplies encountered several children through a barbed wired fence. Though hungry and needy, they didn’t beg or complain. The pilot drew out the only thing he had, 2 pieces of gum, from his pocket, broke them in half, and passed them through the fence.
“The children looked as if they had just received a million bucks,” he recounted. “They put that tiny piece of paper to their noses and smelled the aroma. I stood there dumbfounded.”
He promised to return the next day and drop more gum from his plane. With flights landing every half hour, the children asked how they would recognize him. “I’ll wiggle my wings.” He replied.
Lt. Halvorsen collected gum and candy rations from his buddies. Dropping stuff from planes was against regulation, BUT He tied the sweets to handkerchief parachutes, loaded them on his C-54, and true to his word, wiggled his wings over Berlin. Kids in the city streets spotted their friend and ran to gather the falling candy.
Operation LITTLE Vittles had (unofficially) begun. Within 3 weeks, the air force sanctioned the crusade. In the following months, US planes dropped 21 tons of candy on the city. The pilot became known as ‘Uncle Wiggly Wings.’
Do small deeds make a difference? Gale Halvorsen thinks they do! Of more importance, Jesus does. He said even a cup of cold water given in His name would be blessed.
Never underestimate the smallest act of kindness. It gives hope to those who need it! And big things might just start with 2 pieces of gum.
Below is a link to read the rest of this amazing story in greater detail.