Berlin Airlift Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains a photographic scrapbook, loose papers and a CD entitled, “Wir Das Heerestfliegerregiment 16” concerning the Berlin Airlift. These were collected by William Fotheringham of the 40th Troop Carrier Squadron, US Air Force. There is also a t-shirt signed by some of the airmen who participated in the airlift and a file of material concerning the traveling exhibit hosted by Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2009. A book by the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony is part of the collection but is shelved in Rare.
- 1948 - 2000
- 1948 - 1949
- Cherny, Andrei (Author, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
William Tait Fotheringham served in the 40th Troop Carrier Squadron from 1948 to 1949 in Germany during the Berlin Airlift. He was a member of the 11th Tac Recon when it was formed at March Field in 1947, aircraft mechanic assigned to A-26 ser.no. 44-35657. His crew chief was Tsgt Mack E. Drake, Sqdn. Commander at that time was Lt/Col Royal B. Allison. He and a number of men were shipped out to the Berlin Airlift in Oct. of 1948. During the time he was with the airlift project, he kept a photographic scrapbook and other materials concerning his military service. The Berlin Airlift, officially known as the Berlin Blockade, was one of the tensest moments on the Cold War, between the Western democracies and the Soviet bloc. At the close of World War II, the Allies divided Germany into four “zones of occupation,” each administered by one of the victors: Britain, France, the United States and the Soviet Union. The peace settlement also decreed that the city of Berlin would also be divided into four different zones of occupation, just like Germany itself, even though Berlin was located far into the Soviet-controlled eastern zone. Soon after the peace settlement that determined this arrangement, thousands of Germans in the Soviet zone fled the now-communist zone of eastern Germany into Berlin, and from there, fled to the free, democratic zone of western Germany. In order to halt this exodus, the Soviets began the construction of a massive and lengthy wall around West Berlin—a wall that the Soviets steadily bolstered and re-enforced over the years. Then, on June 24, 1948, in an attempt to pressure the British, French and American occupiers to abandon western Berlin, the Soviets closed roads and railroads leading from the western German sector to western Berlin. At first, it seemed that Berliners would soon starve. Not only was famine a threat, but also the Berliners in the western sector needed fuel and medicine. Rather than bow to Soviet pressure to abandon the western sector of Berlin to Soviet communism, President Truman quickly decided to initiate an airlift of food, fuel and medicine to the citizens of that isolated sector. At first it appeared that the proposed undertaking too massive to succeed, that there were too many people in western Berlin and not enough aircraft to accomplish the mission. Nevertheless, with careful planning and prudent use of resources, the western allies succeeded in provisioning the people of western Berlin until it became apparent that the Soviet blockade had failed. The Soviets lifted the blockade on May 12, 1949.
1.25 Linear Feet
Scrapbook, interactive CD and other memorabilia concerning the Berlin Airlift.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Most items acquired from William Fotheringham, in July 2009. T-shirt received through The German Community of the Charlotte Region, presented at the 60th anniversary celebration in July 2009. Books purchased or received in support of the celebration and collection.
Candy Bombers: the untold story of the Berlin Airlift and America's finest hour / Andrei Cherny - http://uncc.worldcat.org/oclc/190761280
Processed by Ursula J Guidry, under the direction of Robert A. McInnes. Additional materials added and processed in 2015 J. Henry.
- Cherny, Andrei (Author, Person)
- Fotheringham, William (Berlin Airlift participant) (Donor, Person)
- Berlin Airlift Collection
- Ursula J Guidry
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note