Berlin Airlift Memorial (Frankfurt) – kit from LEGO® bricks
The model of the Airlift Memorial is a LEGO® MOC (my own creation) by Ralf J. Klumb and available exclusively from The Brickworms.
This set contains the original LEGO® bricks for a model of the Airlift Memorial, including instructions.
Further information about the prototype and the model follows below.
Warning! Choking hazard due to small parts. Not suitable for children under 3 years.
Please be aware that delivery of this item may take up to four weeks.
The Berlin Airlift 1948/49
The Berlin Airlift was organised by the Western Allies after the Soviet occupying forces blocked all land and water transport routes between West Berlin and West Germany on 24th June 1948. The catalyst was the currency reform implemented in the three western zones on 20th June. Under the leadership of the military governor of the US zone, Lucius D. Clay, the Western Allies then set up the largest operation of its kind to date to keep the 2.2 million inhabitants of West Berlin alive.
Until the end of the blockade on 12th May 1949, flights took off every minute from several airfields in West Germany to the airfields of Tempelhof and Gatow in West Berlin, the temporary Tegel airfield set up for this occasion, as well as British seaplanes to the Havel. They transported everything needed in West Berlin and everything produced in Berlin for export back and forth by air. The aeroplanes were in use until the end of September 1949 and were gradually withdrawn until the usual transport routes were re-established.
In this regard, the term Rosinenbomber (lit. raisin bomber) came into being after the young American pilot Gail S. Halvorsen (himself known as the ‘Candy Bomber’) began dropping small parachutes filled with sweets for the children gathered under the incoming planes. An entire operation named ‘Little Vittles’ emerged, and Halvorsen later became commander of Tempelhof Airport from 1970 to 1974. He remained in close contact with Berlin and the society Luftbrücke Frankfurt-Berlin e. V. until the end of his life in February 2022.
The Berlin Airlift Memorial in Frankfurt am Main
The memorial on the eastern edge of Frankfurt Airport was erected in 1985 and is a copy of the original erected in Berlin in 1951. The predecessor of today’s society, the ‘airlift’ department of the Airlift Tanker Association e. V., was responsible for raising the required one million Deutschmarks (approx. 500,000 euros today) primarily through donations. The memorial was erected in record time and constructed of concrete, unlike its Berlin counterpart.
The C-47 (called DC 3 as a civilian version) to the right of the memorial was built for the British RAF in 1945 and was flown by Commonwealth crews from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa during the airlift. Subsequently, it flew from 1950 to 1987 for East African Airways among others, then joined Air Kenya. The US Air Force Museum finally purchased the plane for the memorial.
The C-54 (a civilian DC 4) to the left of the memorial also originates from 1945 and was initially supplied to the US Army Air Force. It later served as an American Airlines passenger plane until 1952 and then changed hands several times. In 1990, it also became part of the memorial after being successfully restored.
The model by Ralf J. Klumb
This kit was created in close cooperation with Luftbrücke Frankfurt-Berlin e. V. after Ralf developed models of the DC 3/C-47 and DC 4/C-54 and presented them to different organisations that keep the memory of the Berlin Airlift alive. A friendly relationship arose in Frankfurt, and in October 2023 Ralf was invited to a celebration in Königstein and got to know members and guests who had come especially from the USA, Norway and Bavaria. Invitations to events have already been issued for 2024, such as the Hessentag 2024 in Fritzlar and the Open Day at the US Air Base in Wiesbaden.
The models are approximately 1:160 scale and have replica prints of the two Frankfurt prototypes.
The nine printed parts contained in this kit were provided by our partner, IN creare, from Braunschweig. The brick with the inscription “Berliner Luftbrücke 1948/49” has the English inscription “Berlin Airlift 1948/49” on the back.
Colour of the model: white, grey, green
Number of original LEGO® bricks: 524
Measurements of the model: 32.0 x 16.0 x 14.2 cm
Scale: approx. 1:160
Difficulty level: intermediate
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