Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.
As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would "bomb" Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive.
Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as "Uncle Wiggly Wings" or "The Candy Bomber." Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen's small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.
Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.
My take on this book: Christmas From Heaven is the true story that is perfect for youngsters because it shares the true meaning of Christmas. The story takes us back to 1948 where we meet young Hal Halvorsen a twenty-seven year old American Pilot who participated in the Berlin Airlift dubbed "Operation Vittles"a food drop that America and Britain did to keep West Berliners from starving after the war. One day Hal is inspired to give something to the German children standing by the fence at Tempelhof Air Base. He gives all he had which is two sticks of gum,that act of kindness was the beginning of The Candy Bomber. What a wonderfully touching story that is filled not only with beautiful, eye catching illustrations but also photographs of German children.There is even a personal letter from a young girl that captured the gratitude that the children felt.The history that this story provides is priceless, a true story that really shows us the meaning of Christmas! There is even instructions on how to make a candy parachute. This is a beautiful hard back book, with a lovely dust jacket. A wonderful added bonus is a dvd that has Tom Brokaw reading the story.Perfect for gift giving, "Christmas From Heaven" is sure to become a keepsake to be passed down and read each holiday season. A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review. Tom Brokaw is one of the giants of television journalism. Anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, he also holds the honor of being the only person to host each of NBC News’s major news programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press. He has won several awards, including a Peabody Award and seven Emmys. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks, among other books. He and his wife, Meredith, have three daughters and five grandchildren.
Robert T. Barrett is a professor of illustration at Brigham Young University, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in painting and completed postgraduate work in Germany. An accomplished painter, muralist, and illustrator, his work has been featured in many national magazines and in art exhibits across the country and in Germany. He and his wife, Vicki, have ten children and one grandchild and reside in Provo, Utah.