Armed Forces: The Big Lift

Soon after midnight, the cabin door of a C-135 Stratolifter slammed shut behind Major General Edwin Burba, commander of the U.S. Army's "Hell on Wheels" 2nd Armored Division.

Slowly the giant jet taxied into the darkness beyond the floodlit operations building at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. At the edge of a runway it paused, shuddered with the full power of its four jets, then roared into the starry Texas sky to begin a nonstop, 5,600-mile hop to West Germany. Thus, one balmy night last week, "Operation Big Lift" got under way.


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