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The grove of thirty-nine trees stand as a tribute to the personnel who were killed on the Airlift and are
fruit trees, which will blossom in May to commemorate the end of the blockade on the 12th May and
bear fruit to represent the supplies of food and other commodities flown into West Berlin.
The memorial simulates the 'Airbridge' into and out of Berlin from the western zones of Germany
with the three corridors standing proud of the main structure. The eagle represents the British and
Commonwealth contribution to the first victory in the Cold War.
The memorial Sculptor was Andy DeComyn and the eagle was made by Peter Benson and his team
of the Essex School of Woodcarvers
Fifty-two years after the end of the Berlin Blockade on the
12th May 1949, a Memorial and Grove of thirty-nine trees
was unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum,
Alrewas, Staffordshire, England on Saturday the 12th May
2001 by the British Berlin Airlift Association.
The memorial, along with a Remembrance Book in St
Clement Danes Church, London is the only one in the UK
that remembers the thirty-nine British and Commonwealth
personnel who died on the Berlin Airlift.
There are several in Germany, with the principal one at
Luftbrücke Platz, Tempelhof, in Berlin. The UK memorial
is a replica, in miniature of the one in Berlin and is
surmounted by a carved wooden eagle. It was funded by
donations from members of the British Berlin Airlift
Association, members of the general public and by a
generous donation from the Airlift Gratitude Foundation in
Berlin.
A total of seventy-eight people were killed during the
operation, of which thirty-one were American, eight were
German civilians and thirty-nine were British,
Commonwealth and Civilian air and ground crews.
The dedication was preceded with a fly-past by the BBMF Dakota and the memorial plaque was
unveiled by the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire GCB DFC AFC ADC RAF.
The service was led by the Venerable J. Hewitt Wilson CB MA, former Chaplain-in-Chief, Royal Air
Force and Rev. Peter Furness MA, Padre of the British Berlin Airlift Association. Music for the
service was by the Royal Air Force College Band, Cranwell. After the Last Post and Reveille by
trumpeter Cpl Simon Carter, RAF, thirty-nine white doves were released.
Over 150 veterans of the Airlift, together with wives and friends were present, many of whom had
been hosted to a buffet lunch at RAF Stafford by the Expeditionary Logistic Wing. The Wing had also
provided on-site assistance at the National Memorial Arboretum in preparing for the dedication.
Former Airlift squadrons were represented by serving officers of the Royal Air Force. Also in
attendance were members of remembrance associations in Germany from Berlin and Fassberg.