Appeal to find survivors of airlift hailed a success

A number of people involved in one of the largest ever humanitarian airlifts have come forward to share their memories thanks to the Journal.

Earlier this month the paper, on behalf of the Legasee Educational Trust, a charity set up to record the experiences and observations of conflict from the Second World War to the present day, ran an appeal to collate memories of those who were part of the Berlin Airlift.

Following on from the initial story a host of contacts and information has come to light about the subject.

“It was a great response we had from the article in the Journal, we had some really interesting contacts come forward,” said researcher John Mitchell, from Cheveley. “Although some were quite distant calls there were several that will be followed up.”

Mr Mitchell said that out of the many calls he received there were three of particular interest.

“One of the calls I received was from a gentleman called Geoff Smith who is the current chairman of the British Berlin Airlift Association,” said Mr Mitchell.

“He served as an aircraft electrician at RAF Gatow at the time of the airlift so he should have some interesting accounts.

“Another call I had was from a gentleman called Fred Burrows who lives in Ely. He served his National Service as a ground crew worker in Germany, while a lady called Sylvia Pulzer was particularly helpful as she put me in touch with a veteran pilot called Steve Stevens. Having been put in touch with Mr Stevens he has invited me down to Worthing to interview him.”

Once all the memories and experiences are collected by the organisers from the charity they will be used as part of a public exhibition which will go on display in August next year to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the airlift.

Anyone who has a story to tell about their involvement with the Berlin Airlift can contact John by calling 01638 730662.