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   Vol. 16 No. 62
Thursday August 3, 2017

Modern Air Cargo Took Off From Frankfurt
Modern Air Cargo Took Off From Frankfurt

     To some, it may seem like only yesterday; to others, the mention of it evokes little to no emotion at all. But 70 years ago next summer air cargo flights saved Berlin, Germany, during the long summer of 1948 and winter of 1949.

Berlin Airlift Is 70 In 2018

     Almost 70 years ago the first all-cargo flights took off from Berlin and the Berlin Airlift was front-page news for over a year.
      Fair to say, the Airlift fastened the world’s attention and sparked imaginations to the possibilities of air cargo.
      Today we can only guess who is still left among us from that time. Thousands of flights operated 24-7 above 3 corridors across the German Democratic Republic between June 26, 1948, and August 27, 1949, via a mixed fleet of more than 300—mostly American—military aircraft. The mission was to supply a city and all of its 2.1 million inhabitants. Today, Berlin lives on to tell the story.    

Lest We Forget

     But lest we forget, the birth of modern air cargo came at a cost as more than 100 people—Americans, British, French, and Germans—lost their lives flying supplies during the blockade.

What Was Carried

     Aircraft payloads during the Airlift were the bare bones stuff of life—coal, food, gas, and everything else from eggs to flour and other products.

Frankfurt Airlift Memorial Park

Looking at Tomorrow Today

     No doubt summer 2018 will recall the Berlin Airlift, with events occurring on both sentimental and political levels.
      But right now we are glad to share, dear reader, that you don’t have to wait to revisit those memories. History is alive at Frankfurt International Airport with aircraft and memorials dedicated to this pioneering air cargo event.
      The Berlin Airlift Memorial Park can be visited today. It’s within walking distance of Frankfurt Cargo City Süd, which is also close to a small hostelry called “InterCity Airport Hotel,” which once served the pilots and crew who flew the Berlin Airlift.
      Here you can wrap yourself in all of this history and enjoy some wonderful hospitality in a great restaurant and a revolutionary airport hotel modernized for the 21st century.

Memories Still Flying High

     Passengers, airline crews, and others still utilize InterCity. They gather at the hotel for top rate breakfasts and lunches.
      The hotel further celebrates its decades of service with vintage photos as its badge of continuing service.
      A short walk up and down the halls of the first floor is a true step back in time, with fabulous pictures of historic early post-war era Frankfurt.

Frankfurt Airport Sculpture

A Garden Party

     The photos of the airport operations are great, but the topper is the original 1940s theme centerpiece of Frankfurt Main in the garden outside: a globe of the world sits atop an obelisk, an aerial route ringing its surface, above which a bird of peace sits perched, a golden palm branch in its beak.
      In nice weather tables are arranged outside, offering visitors a trip back in time where they can enjoy a drink or meal the way people once did so many years ago.

Anton Wuestefeld and Geoffrey Arend

Anton The Magnificent

     Credit InterCity General Manager Anton Wüstefeld for his deft touch. He has created and maintained this hostelry at the airport.
      InterCity FRA is a wonderful place to stay, get a great meal, or just talk over old times in the JU52 saloon with bartender Harry, surrounded by the one-of-a-kind pictures, aircraft models, and other memorabilia.
      Later you can enjoy a walk over to the nearby Zeppelin Museum or the Berlin Airlift Memorial.

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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