AIRLIFT ACTIVITIES OF JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 1949
2 – Personnel rotation begins as 12 airmen return home. They were called up in July 1948 on orders to stay 30 days.
7- C-54 tail # 45-5543 crashes 15 miles north of Blackpool England en-route to the Burtonwood England maintenance depot. Killed are;
Capt. William A. Rathgeber
Pvt. Ronald E. Stone
Cpl. Norbert H. Theis
Sgt. Bernard J. Watkins
1st Lt Lowell A. Wheaton.
1st Lt. Richard M. Wurgel
9. 317th Troop Carrier Squadron arrives at Celle in the British Zone
12 – C-54 tail # 42-72629 crashes on final approach to Rhine-Main, killed are;
1st Lt. Ralph H. Boyd.
1st Lt. Craig B. Ladd.
TSgt Charles L. Putnam.
13- The airlift establishes a record second only to Air Force Day by flying 6,678.9 tones to Berlin in 755 flights, landing every two minutes.
15- Tegel Airport in the French Sector of Berlin is opened to civil aircraft.
16- Radio and Television star Garry Moore opened a 10 day run of his popular show “Take it or Leave it”. The 686th Air Force Band provided the music and the program was broadcast in the states the following Sunday night.
18- C-54 tail # 45-563 crashes at 6 miles East of Fassberg in the British Zone while on final approach. Killed is;
1st. Lt. Robert P. Weaver
19- The food ration for West Berlins is raised from 1600 to 1880 calories a day. an 8 % increase.
24- The 250,000 ton of coal arrives at Tegel from Fassberg.
A Royal Air Force (RAF) C-47 # KN491 crashes in the Russian Zone near Lubeck. Radio Signalman J.D. Grout and 7 German passengers are killed.
29- New approach lights begin operation at Rhine-Main.
31- Stalin opens the door to a diplomatic settlement in correspondence with Kingsbury Smith of the International News Service.reporters in New York’s new United Nations.
JANUARY tonnage 171,959.2
U.S. flights 14,095 British flights 8,094
Average a landing every 2 minutes 29 seconds
4 - Lt. (jg) Leo M. “Smokey” Sabota of VR-6 became the first US Navy pilot to complete 100 round trips to Berlin.
13 – Navy Lt. (jg ) Phillip R. Simmons became the second VR-6 to complete100 missions
15- Diplomatic discussions at the United Nations in New York begin toward an end of the land blockade when no mention of currency reform is mentioned between Dr. Phillip Jacob and correspondence with Soviet leader Stalin.
18- The 1,000,000 ton is landed in Berlin aboard a RAF York aircraft with a load of potatoes.
20- Harsh weather – Fog –only 27 flights completed to Berlin
26- New daily record 8,025 tons in 902 flights. (1.59 minutes)
U.S. Tonnage 120,394.6
U.S. Flights 12,043 – British flights 5,043
Average a landing every 2 minutes 36 seconds.