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S. 2514: A bill to rename the Provo Veterans Center in Orem, Utah, as the “Col. Gail S. Halvorsen ‘Candy Bomber’ Veterans Center”.


The text of the bill below is as of May 13, 2022 (Preprint (Suspension)).


117TH CONGRESS
   1ST SESSION
                     S. 2514

                     AN ACT
To rename the Provo Veterans Center in Orem, Utah, as
   the ‘‘Col. Gail S. Halvorsen ‘Candy Bomber’ Veterans
   Center’’.

 1      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
 2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

2 1 SECTION 1. DESIGNATION OF THE COL. GAIL S. 2 HALVORSEN ‘‘CANDY BOMBER’’ VETERANS 3 CENTER. 4 (a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following: 5 (1) Gail Halvorsen was born in Salt Lake City, 6 Utah, on October 10, 1920, and spent his youth 7 with his family on small farms in Utah and Idaho. 8 (2) After a brief stint at Utah State University, 9 Gail Halvorsen joined the Civilian Pilot Training 10 Program where he earned his pilot’s license in 1941. 11 During that same year, Halvorsen joined the Civil 12 Air Patrol as a pilot. 13 (3) Gail Halvorsen joined the United States 14 Army Air Corps in 1942 and trained flying fighter 15 jets with the Royal Air Force. Upon his return from 16 training, he was assigned to fly transport missions 17 in the South Atlantic Theater. 18 (4) After World War II and the division of Ber- 19 lin into occupation zones, disputes broke out between 20 the Western Allies and the Soviet Union over the fu- 21 ture of Europe. 22 (5) Negotiations deteriorated, and in June of 23 1948 Soviet forces locked down all land routes con- 24 necting Western Germany with the allied portions of 25 Berlin. Approximately 2,000,000 people in West † S 2514 ES
3 1 Berlin were left completely isolated. Starvation, pov- 2 erty, and desperate want ensued. 3 (6) In an effort to alleviate the immense human 4 suffering, the allies decided to drop supplies to peo- 5 ple of West Berlin from the air until a diplomatic 6 solution to the blockade could be reached. Termed 7 by United States forces ‘‘Operation Vittles’’, the 8 Berlin Airlift began on June 26, 1948. 9 (7) Gail Halvorsen was assigned to Germany in 10 1948 to work as an airlift pilot where he flew C–47 11 and C–54 cargo planes as part of Operation Vittles. 12 (8) While on mission at Tempelhof Airport in 13 Berlin, Halvorsen noticed a group of German chil- 14 dren standing just outside the barb wire fence. 15 (9) The children were destitute and clearly had 16 very little to eat. Halvorsen gave the children two 17 sticks of gum he had in his pocket, which they split 18 into little pieces to share among themselves. 19 (10) Colonel Halvorsen was deeply affected by 20 the experience and wanted to do more to help. He 21 promised the children he would drop more candy to 22 them from his plane as he flew his regular airlift 23 missions. † S 2514 ES
4 1 (11) Halvorsen told the children they would rec- 2 ognize his plane by a back-and-forth waggle of his 3 wings as he flew over. 4 (12) Colonel Halvorsen enlisted his copilot and 5 engineer in the project and began attaching their 6 candy rations to miniature parachutes which they 7 dropped from their plane to the starving children 8 below. 9 (13) The children of Berlin gave Halvorsen 10 many nicknames including ‘‘Uncle Wiggly Wings’’, 11 ‘‘The Chocolate Flier’’, ‘‘The Gum Drop Kid’’, and 12 ‘‘The Chocolate Uncle’’. He eventually became 13 known around the world as ‘‘The Candy Bomber’’. 14 (14) Lieutenant General William H. Turner, 15 who directed the Berlin Airlift, learned about 16 Halvorsen’s efforts and officially expanded the idea 17 into a full-blown operation known as ‘‘Little Vittles’’ 18 as a play on the broader operation’s name. 19 (15) As the candy drops continued, word of Op- 20 eration Little Vittles reached the United States. 21 Families, schoolchildren, and candymakers in the 22 United States began contributing candy and home- 23 made parachutes that Halvorsen and other pilots 24 could drop. † S 2514 ES
5 1 (16) When the Berlin Airlift ended, an esti- 2 mated 250,000 parachutes containing approximately 3 21 tons of candy had been dropped by Halvorsen 4 and his fellow airmen as a part of Operation Little 5 Vittles. 6 (17) Halvorsen retired from the military in 7 1974 after 31 years of service and more than 8,000 8 hours of flying time. 9 (18) Since his retirement, Halvorson has con- 10 tinued his humanitarian service. He has voluntarily 11 represented the United States Air Force and the 12 United States abroad and has re-enacted his famous 13 candy drops several times in Berlin and around the 14 world. 15 (19) Halvorsen has also been a tremendous 16 boon to his community through church service and 17 other local contributions. 18 (20) Gail Halvorsen turned 100 years old on 19 October 10, 2020. 20 (b) DESIGNATION.—The Provo Veterans Center of 21 the Department of Veterans Affairs located at 360 State 22 Street, Orem, Utah, shall after the date of the enactment 23 of this Act be known and designated as the ‘‘Col. Gail 24 S. Halvorsen ‘Candy Bomber’ Veterans Center’’. † S 2514 ES
6 1 (c) REFERENCE.—Any reference in any law, regula- 2 tion, map, document, paper, or other record of the United 3 States to the veterans center referred to in subsection (b) 4 shall be considered to be a reference to the Col. Gail S. 5 Halvorsen ‘‘Candy Bomber’’ Veterans Center. Passed the Senate December 18 (legislative day, De- cember 17), 2021. Attest: Secretary. † S 2514 ES

117TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S. 2514 AN ACT To rename the Provo Veterans Center in Orem, Utah, as the ‘‘Col. Gail S. Halvorsen ‘Candy Bomber’ Veterans Center’’.