THE NATIONS: Happy Birthday

At noon sharp one day this week a lumbering C-82, also known as the "Flying Boxcar," flew into Berlin's Tempelhof airfield, carrying five tons of steel wool and textiles. The American crew had some coffee, got a weather briefing for the return flight to Wiesbaden. Exactly a year before, the first wave of C-47s ("Gooney birds," to U.S. airmen) .had flown a cargo of milk, flour and medicine into Tempelhof. Since then, in 235,314 flights, the airlift had carried 1,943,655.9 tons of supplies into besieged Berlin.

"So we flew the birthday flight," said Pilot Michael Seeley of Bakersfield, Calif. "Why...

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