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Berlin Airlift

  • Ralph Levy
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnet

Transcript

Well, I was involved in the Berlin airlift

by chance, really.

I happened to be on Wustof airbase

from where the planes flew to Berlin

on a two-minute basis.

And they needed somebody like me

to light up the runway at night.

Because I was a trained electrician.

It also meant that it fell on my shoulders to do that job.

Otherwise I wouldn't have been involved

in the Berlin airlift.

I had to be responsible for taking

the huge floodlight out to the end of the runway

every night before it got dark

and light up the runway.

For landing and takeoff by the aircraft.

To continue supplying food and other items

to the citizens of Western Berlin.

Which was our set, you know each of the,

each of the after the war,

the Russians, the British, the Americans, the French,

had a quarter of Berlin each.

And we had an airfield, Gatow,

an airfield which we sent supplies to

to distribute amongst the Germans.

And this continued beyond the time that

I was demoted.

It started the beginning July, beginning of June I think

uh, '46.

'48.

And I was demoted the end of July, '48.

So I was doing it for two months.

But it continued for another year.

Until the Russians caved in and said,

"You can use the Autobahn and the railway."

But we used to see the Russians

the other side of our sector

with their guns pointing at us.

And if we got anywhere near them, they'd shoot us.

So we had to be very careful

where we went.

It was almost imminent war,

another imminent war arising.

We were very scared of that.

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