Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s C-54 Damaged by Tornado

The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation's C-54 Skymaster suffered significant damage in last night's massive storm front which ravaged the eastern U.S. last night. If you have the means, please do see what you can do to contribute to this valiant and important group. (photo via BAHF)

For those of you who haven’t heard, the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s Douglas C-54 Skymaster suffered severe storm damage last night. This hard-working and generous organization has helped keep alive the spirits of all those who served during those dark days in 1948/49 when the Soviet Union shut off West Berlin from land and sea, hoping to force the city’s surrender. While many will need help in the coming days to recover from the damage this massive storm front unleashed across the Eastern US, we hope some of you will be able to contribute to the BAHF too in their recovery from this significant setback. Their press release explains what we know so far. We will endeavor to bring further details as soon as we hear…


The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s Douglas C-54, the Spirit of Freedom” was severely damaged early in the morning of Monday April 13, 2020 by tornados that ravaged the Carolinas causing wide spread destruction and loss of life. The foundation’s Douglas C-54 was parked at Swamp Fox Avionics at Walterboro, SC airport on December 18, 2019 for the installation of a new Stratus Transponder to comply with the FAA mandate for transponders meeting the ADS-B requirements by January 1, 2020. Accordingly to Kevin Kearney, Vice President of the Foundation, It is too early to assess the extent of the tornado damage, however, photographs reveal the leading edge of the right outer wing and the rear left center wing flap area received substantial damage.

The storm wreaked havoc on the airfield, tossing smaller aircraft on their backs, and driving the BAHF’s C-54 into one of the hangars. (photo via BAHF)

Due to the many restrictions now in place regarding the Covid19 virus epidemic, it will take some time to reach a full evaluation. Kearney adds: “Our concerns and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones due to the tornado outbreak. A sincere thank you to everyone for your continued support over the years to the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation to help keep the Douglas C-54 and our Boeing C-97 flying on their missions of history, education, and remembrance about the great Berlin Airlift of 1948 and 1949.”

If you want a way to help the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation, please visit  http://www.spiritoffreedom.org/donate.html

Another image revealing some of the devastation at the airfield, with the BAHF’s C-54 showing clear signs of damage to her flaps and rear fuselage in this view. (image via BAHF)
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