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Famous Berlin Airlift base Rhein-Main is closed

The Rhein-Main Air Base near Frankfurt was the central hub for American military forces in Europe since the end of World War II. The base played a crucial role in the wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. During the 1948-1949 blockade of West Berlin, the US Air Force delivered everything the West-Berliners needed to survive (food, fuel, medicine, hope) in 190.000 flights, most of them from Rhein Main. (The UK -- and to some extend France -- flew many additional flights.) On average every three minutes a "candy bomber" (Rosinenbomber) landed in Berlin during the 15 months long blockade. 31 US servicemen and women lost their lives. The base will now be incorporated into an expansion of Frankfurt Airport. The US bases Ramstein and Spangdahlem have been upgraded to pick up the slack from the closure of Rhein-Main.
The highest ranking German politician attending the closure ceremony was the finance minister of the state of Hessen. Members of the federal government or the city government of Berlin did not participate.
Blogger Jim Bass perceives a general lack of of gratefulness today. More reports in the Mudville Gazette and in the German FAZ.


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