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PROVO'S `CANDY BOMBER' PART OF BERLIN CEREMONY

A retired Air Force pilot and Provo resident was among the Americans who participated in ceremonies marking the final departure of British, U.S. and French troops from Berlin this week.

Gail S. Halvorsen, known as the "Candy Bomber" during the Berlin Airlift, was involved in the opening of a new Allied museum. The museum occupies an old U.S. Army outpost theater where Halvorsen's children went to the movies when the family lived in Germany in the early 1970s.Halvorsen said German officials asked him to don the uniform he wore during his flights over the Soviet blockade of 1948-49. Negotiations are under way to bring a C-54 transport plane from Templehof air base for display at the museum, he said. The old "Checkpoint Charlie" guard shack is prominently featured at the museum.

German television plans to broadcast a live two-hour panel discussion about the airlift Sept. 18, he said.

Halvorsen also witnessed ceremonies attended by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, British Prime Minister John Major, French President Francois Mitterand and U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

The heads of state honored the 84 soldiers - 41 British, 31 American and 12 Germans - who died during the airlift. Twenty surviving American and British pilots were honored as special guests.

"The speeches were laudatory and the military music brought back old memories," Halvorsen said.

Klaus Schutz, the mayor of Berlin while Halvorsen was commander of the Templehof Central Airport, thanked U.S. and Soviet troops for stopping Hitler in World War II at one of several ceremonial gatherings.

"I wish to leave absolutely no doubt about the fact that we Germans have every reason to thank the powers of the great anti-Hitler coalition for liberating us from Nazi tyranny. And this equally applies to the Soviet Union," Halvorsen quoted Schutz as saying.

Schutz also spoke out against the rise of neo-Nazi factions, Hal-vor-sen said.

"This issue is now one of crucial importance. Extremist right-wing activities can no longer be regarded as a temporary phenomenon, as stupid kids' pranks or isolated incidents without consequences. It is a frightening fact that neo-Nazism now seems to have become firmly established."

Halvorsen believes high unemployment in the former East Germany accounts in part for an increase in the group's numbers.

"The young have a yearning to feel needed. None of these things are possible without being able to contribute in a rewarding way. It is difficult for them to do that now. It will take time," Halvorsen said.