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Medal For Humane Action - The Berlin Airlift (1948-1949)
medal or humane action berlin


 
At the end of World War II, a defeated Germany was divided amongst the victors: the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France. The Soviet Union took control of the eastern half of Germany and the western half was divided amongst the U.S., Great Britain and France. Berlin was sliced into four parts, one half being Soviet-controlled and the rest divided amongst the U.S., Great Britain and France. The goal of this “Union of Governments” was to control and rebuild Berlin. The problem was that the Soviets had their own ideas, most of which concerned Soviet war reparations, German unification, currency and its own ideology. So tense became these differences, that Stalin ultimately ordered the “Western powers” out of the Eastern Zone (Soviet controlled Berlin). This move put a halt to all supplies going to East Berlin from the west. To prevent the starvation of thousands of civilians in Berlin, President Truman authorized a plan to supply Berlin by air. The airlift, which began on June 26, 1948, lasted until September 30, 1949. During this time, over 2.3 million tons of goods were delivered on 277,569 flights to Berlin. C-47 and C-54 aircraft alone traveled over 92 million miles making deliveries. To recognize these gallant efforts, we offer the Medal for Humane Action, which was issued by the U.S. to honor the more than 50,000 service personnel. Authorized by Congress on July 29, 1949, it was awarded to any member of the Armed Forces who served for 120 consecutive days with or in direct support of the Berlin Airlift.
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