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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
(1945?)

Bad fogs to Berlin,   pp. 71-74 PDF (990.9 KB)


Page 72

was completely "socked in"-thunder and lightning all the way.
Going into Berlin we dropped down to what appeared to be a
500-foot ceiling, and the pilot headed for Templehof Airdrome.
Just as he was about to circle the field for a landing, the field
completely closed in. He turned around and headed for another
airport-Gatau. When we arrived there, that also closed in. In
a momentary lifting of the fog, the pilot slipped back to Temple-
hof and made a landing with about a 50-ceiling. We put on the
ground in a deluging rain.
I said a prayer of thanks for a safe landing. Incidentally, we
were the last plane into Berlin for five days, as the airport was
entirely closed in after our arrival. Our Army is very strict
on allowing admittance into Berlin, and we were among the first
civilians allowed in.
Pete Huss, Manager of the INS Berlin Bureau, met us at the
airport along with an accommodating Army officer. We had din-
ner in the mess-room at the Templehof Airdrome after going
through the Army Inspection Bureau. We had here our first sight
of devastated Berlin. The famous Templehof was badly wrecked.
After dinner we motored to the Harnack House, located in the
American zone. It is a professors' home-formerly occupied by
the German scientists who developed the V bombs; here also they
were working on the atomic bomb. We were met by our friend,
Herman Phleger, from San Francisco, serving on the War Crimes
Commission. Herman says, "There is a new kind of legal work.
You call your secretary for dictation and say, 'Take a law!' "
A reception was being given at the Harnack House for Ingrid
Bergman, Jack Benny, and other motion picture actors who were
in Berlin doing a USO show.
We were told not to drink the water as it was contaminated;
we were given insect-repellent powder and warned there was
malaria from mosquitoes, caused by wrecked sewer mains, un-
interred bodies, etc.
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