Air Force's Operation Christmas Drop: Delivering Gifts To Micronesia Since 1952

By Cyn Felthousen-Post
Santa Claus (Capt. Mike d'Albertis) and Staff Sgt. Tony Thompson watch as a Christmas Drop container is parachuted toward its destination. The annual airdrop is a humanitarian effort providing aid throughout Micronesia. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Santa Claus might ride in a sleigh, but the U.S. Air Force's Santas over Micronesian islands come swooping in on bomber planes to deliver their gifts. The humanitarian effort, known as Operation Christmas Drop, has been happening since 1952, and is the longest-running such effort, joined by many other nations.

It is hard to imagine your first pair of shoes dropping out of the sky at Christmas, but this is reality for some in Micronesia.  It is not Santa Claus that Pacific islanders see in the sky around Christmas time, but rather a C-130 that has arrived to drop gifts from the sky to people on these remote islands.

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