Berlin Airlift Pilot, ANG Wing Commander Dies

Retired Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Stanley Hemstreet, former commander of the New York ANG’s 109th Airlift Wing and the man who piloted the first airlifter to arrive in Berlin during the 1961 call-up of reserve forces, died Jan. 20. He was 82. The Albany Times Union reports that Hemstreet earned his wings in 1945, flying a variety of military aircraft over his 40-plus year flying career. He was instrumental in bringing the ski-equipped C-130 to the 109th and initial planning for the unit’s long-running South Pole mission. Hemstreet retired in 1985 and just last fall was honored by his former unit, which named a street “Hemstreet Highway.” (A reader notified us of his death and pointed us to another article on Hemstreet in the Times Union.)