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Brigadier Rupert Crowdy, supported the Berlin Airlift – obituary

Brigadier Rupert Crowdy
Brigadier Rupert Crowdy

Brigadier Rupert Crowdy, who has died aged 106, played a notable part in the logistical support for the Berlin Airlift.

In June 1948, Soviet forces blockaded road, rail and inland waterway access to the Western-controlled sectors of Berlin. Access to the city by the Western Allies was restricted to three air corridors, each 20 miles wide. Short of going to war, the Soviets could not prevent flights being made along these routes.

Crowdy had considerable experience in logistical planning and was posted to RAF Gatow on the western edge of the city and, subsequently, to RAF Fassberg, 60 miles south of Hamburg. He organised the loading of aircraft which flew 2,000 tons of coal every day into Berlin. Great precision had to be employed with the distribution of these heavy loads. When it became clear that the combination of RAF Dakotas and four train loads a day could not supply enough coal for the...

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