Candy Bomber Gail Halvorsen, 100, helps celebrate Independence Day with candy drop

Latter-day Saint Gail Halvorsen, known as the Candy Bomber, flew again this weekend as he helped drop candy from a helicopter as part of the Independence Day events in St. George on Saturday, July 3.  

“I said, ‘Are you up for one more?’ And he said: ‘Only one more?’” Marilyn Halvorsen Sorensen, Gail Halvorsen’s daughter, told “He loves his country, and we’re just glad that we can be here.” 

Halvorsen, who will turn 101 in October, was assigned to fly supplies into West Berlin during the post-World War II Berlin Airlift in 1948.  

After landing his C-54 cargo plane in West Berlin, he noticed a group of children near the airport fence and spoke to them. As he turned to leave, Halvorsen felt prompted by the Holy Ghost to give the children two small sticks of gum he had in his pocket. Halvorsen felt inspired to start dropping candy rations using little parachutes as a way to help the children. Word spread and donations poured in.  

In a Church News feature when he turned 100 last October, Halverson’s family said that he delights in reading the scriptures with his family and still strives to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Perhaps the most tender image his daughter Denise Williams has of her elderly father comes each night as he kneels with difficulty at this bedside. 

“It’s still exciting for me to be alive. It’s a real testimony to me of the fruits of the gospel,” he told the Church News last fall.  

Also at the event on Saturday was Regine Lovely, one of the children who received candy he dropped and who now lives in St. George, helped him with the inaugural Gail Halvorsen Lifetime Service Award, along with another token — a pack of gum, reported.