A State Visit
by Bill Christensen (63-66)
Captions by P. Adams (62-64)


It was a cool misty morning at Tempelhof when the small crowd gathered and the helmeted security men moved toward the aircraft boarding steps.  It was 27 May 1965.
The aircraft is a USAF Lockheed Super Constellation.  There must be someone really important aboard to have access to this aircraft in those days.
They are striding purposely toward the speaker platform while the Mercedes Cabriolet and other fine cars stand by.
It’s Ludwig Erhard, German Federal Chancellor for the 1963-66 time period.  (Note the years are the same as Photographer Bill Christensen’s Berlin Tour.  Could this be a coincidence or is there something more?)  West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt is also on the platform.  He will be the Federal Chancellor from 1969 to 1974.
From a vantage point on the broad elevated walkway above the hangar bay, it is clear another important personage arrived during the morning. The passengers are not present and the aircraft is cordoned off with security in place around the plane.  The nose of the Super Connie is visible in the upper right-hand corner.
Looking through the long narrow window above the hangar door you can see that the Army has positioned 7 tanks at the far edge of the tarmac.  If a 21 gun salute is needed, 3 tanks have to fire 7 rounds each, or vice versa.
Here comes the band and some marching troops.  See the person on the outer high walkway?  Are the cameramen on their platform?  Not yet.
More troops and the cameramen are now in place.
And, they keep on comin
…and comin'.
The cordon is gone, the honor guard is in place and the band is playing, “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy”.  Or, maybe not.
Don’t ya just love a nice chrome pot?
The Berlin Police Motorcycle escort in their jackets of white and other civilian security vehicles have entered the hangar via the tunnel and are being directed to the left.
The open limousine is directed to the right and follows the AF blue wagon.
Attention is called and the Base Commander greets Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.  Willy Brandt is toward the rear of the limo and Ludwig Erhard is exiting the vehicle.
The Queen’s visit to Berlin culminates the first State Visit of an English Monarch to Germany for 52 years.  In the interim 2 World Wars had taken Place.  The Queen spoke of peace between the two great nations.
Earlier she spoke of visiting Charlottenburg Palace where she saw a portrait of Princess Sophie Charlotte, for whom the palace was built and whose brother was King George I of England.  She said that 14 daughters of British sovereigns had married German princes.
Although she didn’t say so, you could tell she thought the Boys looked good in their Blues.
The ‘red carpet’ was withdrawn.  The honor guard withdrew.  And, the tanks began their salute.  See the puffs of smoke near the tanks.
After all were gone, the choppers were where the choppers were supposed to be.
The Mohawk and King Air were taking on some avgas for the next mission.  And, all was well at Tempelhof.
The German Embassy in England is credited for this picture of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as they are greeted by the Berliners.  Willy Brandt and Ludwig Erhard are seated.

Berlin Page