[117th Congress Public Law 134]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 136 STAT. 1241]]

Public Law 117-134
117th Congress

                                 An Act

To rename the Provo Veterans Center in Orem, Utah, as the ``Col. Gail S. 
Halvorsen `Candy Bomber' Veterans Center''. <<NOTE: June 7, 2022 -  [S. 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
                              BOMBER'' VETERANS CENTER.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) Gail Halvorsen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 
        October 10, 1920, and spent his youth with his family on small 
        farms in Utah and Idaho.
            (2) After a brief stint at Utah State University, Gail 
        Halvorsen joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program where he 
        earned his pilot's license in 1941. During that same year, 
        Halvorsen joined the Civil Air Patrol as a pilot.
            (3) Gail Halvorsen joined the United States Army Air Corps 
        in 1942 and trained flying fighter jets with the Royal Air 
        Force. Upon his return from training, he was assigned to fly 
        transport missions in the South Atlantic Theater.
            (4) After World War II and the division of Berlin into 
        occupation zones, disputes broke out between the Western Allies 
        and the Soviet Union over the future of Europe.
            (5) Negotiations deteriorated, and in June of 1948 Soviet 
        forces locked down all land routes connecting Western Germany 
        with the allied portions of Berlin. Approximately 2,000,000 
        people in West Berlin were left completely isolated. Starvation, 
        poverty, and desperate want ensued.
            (6) In an effort to alleviate the immense human suffering, 
        the allies decided to drop supplies to people of West Berlin 
        from the air until a diplomatic solution to the blockade could 
        be reached. Termed by United States forces ``Operation 
        Vittles'', the Berlin Airlift began on June 26, 1948.
            (7) Gail Halvorsen was assigned to Germany in 1948 to work 
        as an airlift pilot where he flew C-47 and C-54 cargo planes as 
        part of Operation Vittles.
            (8) While on mission at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, 
        Halvorsen noticed a group of German children standing just 
        outside the barb wire fence.
            (9) The children were destitute and clearly had very little 
        to eat. Halvorsen gave the children two sticks of gum he had in 
        his pocket, which they split into little pieces to share among 

[[Page 136 STAT. 1242]]

            (10) Colonel Halvorsen was deeply affected by the experience 
        and wanted to do more to help. He promised the children he would 
        drop more candy to them from his plane as he flew his regular 
        airlift missions.
            (11) Halvorsen told the children they would recognize his 
        plane by a back-and-forth waggle of his wings as he flew over.
            (12) Colonel Halvorsen enlisted his copilot and engineer in 
        the project and began attaching their candy rations to miniature 
        parachutes which they dropped from their plane to the starving 
        children below.
            (13) The children of Berlin gave Halvorsen many nicknames 
        including ``Uncle Wiggly Wings'', ``The Chocolate Flier'', ``The 
        Gum Drop Kid'', and ``The Chocolate Uncle''. He eventually 
        became known around the world as ``The Candy Bomber''.
            (14) Lieutenant General William H. Turner, who directed the 
        Berlin Airlift, learned about Halvorsen's efforts and officially 
        expanded the idea into a full-blown operation known as ``Little 
        Vittles'' as a play on the broader operation's name.
            (15) As the candy drops continued, word of Operation Little 
        Vittles reached the United States. Families, schoolchildren, and 
        candymakers in the United States began contributing candy and 
        homemade parachutes that Halvorsen and other pilots could drop.
            (16) When the Berlin Airlift ended, an estimated 250,000 
        parachutes containing approximately 21 tons of candy had been 
        dropped by Halvorsen and his fellow airmen as a part of 
        Operation Little Vittles.
            (17) Halvorsen retired from the military in 1974 after 31 
        years of service and more than 8,000 hours of flying time.
            (18) Since his retirement, Halvorson has continued his 
        humanitarian service. He has voluntarily represented the United 
        States Air Force and the United States abroad and has re-enacted 
        his famous candy drops several times in Berlin and around the 
            (19) Halvorsen has also been a tremendous boon to his 
        community through church service and other local contributions.
            (20) Gail Halvorsen turned 100 years old on October 10, 

    (b) Designation.--The Provo Veterans Center of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs located at 360 State Street, Orem, Utah, shall after 
the date of the enactment of this Act be known and designated as the 
``Col. Gail S. Halvorsen `Candy Bomber' Veterans Center''.

[[Page 136 STAT. 1243]]

    (c) Reference.--Any reference in any law, regulation, map, document, 
paper, or other record of the United States to the veterans center 
referred to in subsection (b) shall be considered to be a reference to 
the Col. Gail S. Halvorsen ``Candy Bomber'' Veterans Center.

    Approved June 7, 2022.


                                                        Vol. 167 (2021):
                                    Dec. 17, considered and passed 
                                                        Vol. 168 (2022):
                                    May 16, 17, considered and passed 
            June 7, Presidential remarks.