Atlanta attorneys Thomas J. Harrold Jr. and Charles “Chuck” C. Clay are organizing a ceremony to celebrate 60 years of positive economic and political relations between the United States and Germany that followed the end of the Berlin Airlift. The event is to be held at Dobbins Air Reserve Base on Friday, May 15.
The memory of Lucius D. Clay, a Georgia native who served as the military governor of the U.S. occupation zone in Germany, also is to be honored at the private event.
In 1945, Gen. Clay served as deputy to Dwight D. Eisenhower, who at the time was the supreme commander of the allied forces in Europe. He then was made deputy governor of Germany during the Allied Military Government. From 1947-49, he was the military governor in the occupation zone and helped formulate what eventually became the Marshall Plan, providing U.S. aid for the rebuilding of Europe.
Mr. Harrold, a partner in charge of the law firm Miller & Martin PLLC’s international practice group, is active in several Atlanta-based organizations involved with German cultural, educational and business relations including the German American Chamber of Commerce and the German Cultural Center. He is serving as chair of the current initiative titled the Berlin Airlift Task Force.
Mr. Clay is the grandson of Army Gen. Clay and the son of Lucius D. Clay Jr., a U.S. Air Force general. He is a founding partner of the law firm Brock, Clay, Calhoun & Rogers LLC and has served six terms in the Georgia Senate.
U.S. and German officials are to join veterans of the Berlin Airlift and school children from Atlanta and Cobb County at the event, which is to feature vintage aircraft including C-47, C-54, B-25 “Mitchell” and P-51 “Mustang” planes.
Gail S. Halvorsen, an Army colonel, who flew transport planes during the airlift and became famous by the nickname “candy bomber,” also is to attend and speak at the event. Col. Halvorsen was known for dropping chocolate bars from little parachutes for the children of Berlin.
Paul Shirley, a senior master sergeant, who retired from the U.S. Air Force and is a member of the Berlin Airlift Veteran’s Association, also is a scheduled speaker. Lutz Goergens, Germany’s Atlanta-based consul general is a scheduled speaker as well.
U.S. and British aircraft hauled 2.3 million tons of food and supplies on 280,000 flights to Berlin from June 24, 1948, until May 11, 1949.
The U.S., Great Britain and French governments agreed to provide provisions to the 2.1 million citizens of Berlin following the Soviet decision to block all water and land access to West Berlin.
This decision represented a reversal of U.S. policy at the time known as the Morgenthau Plan for the occupation of Germany that advocated measures intended to prevent the country from redeveloping its economy. The plan was proposed by and named after U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau.
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