Example Descriptive Writing 1

Teacher Submission

A Pilot and Two Pieces of Gum

        Gail Halverson might not have changed the world, but he changed how many people see it. Gail's work took place in Europe after World War II at a time when many people in Germany did not have food because there were economic and political problems. England and the United States delivered food nearly every day for a few months in what was called Operation Vittles (Lauterborn, 2022). Gail Halverson flew many planes to Germany to deliver supplies. One day he saw kids by the fence and he started talking to them. They were very grateful for the food that was being delivered and Gail wanted to give something to the children because he was so impressed by them (Kominicki, 1984). He had two sticks of gum in his pocket, so he gave the gum to them. The children shared the gum, but there was not enough for everyone. The other children were happy to just smell the paper. He promised the children that he would return with more candy for them (Lauterborn, 2009). Gail returned with candy for the children that he dropped from his airplane. Then he began delivering more candy. This simple act turned into a widespread operation to deliver candy to the children all over the area. It became an inspirational operation and affected many people in a war-torn area. Gail Halvorsen was a selfless man that shared hope and inspired kindness during World War II.

        First, Gail Halvorsen shared hope with people who desperately needed it. In an interview years after the war was over, Halvorsen said, "Without hope, the soul dies" (Lauterborn, 2022, para. 43). The children that Gail shared his kindness with lived in Germany during a very difficult time. There were times that the children were afraid about the future and were scared of what might happen to them. Even the food that they ate was a reminder that life was not normal and it might not ever be fixed. The candy that Gail delivered gave the children hope in a time that people were trying to help them and that maybe life could return to nor- mal. It gave them hope that they would be okay. Kurt Roth was a teenager during this time in Germany who found hope in the candy deliveries. He said, "Chocolate bars coming from the sky. It all sounds rather dramatic today, but for me it was a special sign. A sign that we Berlin- ers had to survive" (Kominicki, 1984, para. 36). When they saw the candy, they were reminded to not give up because there was something to work for. It was a sign to some that if they didn't give up, they could have safety again. As the candy was dropped from the airplanes, Gail Halvorsen was inspiring the people in Europe to have hope for their futures.

       Gail Halvorsen was a selfless person that inspired kindness. Gail Halvorsen, while he didn't have a lot for himself, thought of the children's lack when he met them and he gave them his gum. He was concerned for them and wanted them to know that people cared about them. He wanted them to know they were not forgotten. He was so concerned that Gail asked for help from his copilot and engineer so they could take more candy to more of the children.

       His copilot and engineer gave him their candy to give away and other pilots decided to help as well. When his commander found out about what Gail was doing, he wanted to make it an official operation (Hollenhorst, 2014). Soon, many more people in the military were sharing kindness to thousands of children as they dropped large quantities of candy from the planes. In addition to inspiring kindness in the military, there were many individuals in the United States who wanted to show the same kindness when they heard about what the pilots were doing on the news. These people made handkerchiefs that could be used for parachutes and tied them to candy bars (Lauterborn, 2022). Large candy companies donated candy for the children (Kominicki, 1984). There were thousands of people in the United States inspired to help by the efforts that Gail made to show a little kindness to a few children by the fence. Gail inspired pilots, military leaders, citizens, and companies with his kindness and example of selfless concern for others.

       His selflessness was inspirational and the hope that he shared was encouraging. By delivering candy to children in war-torn areas of Europe, he was delivering so much more than candy. After the war, he stayed at one of the military bases, Templehof for four years, as part of his work in the military and the German people treated him like one of their own (Kominicki, 1984). He received many letters of appreciation and is still widely recognized today for his kindness. He retired and bought a ranch in Spanish Fork, Utah. He showed that a simple action can encourage others to show more kindness and can give people hope. Gail Halvorsen taught us that simple acts of kindness can really make a huge difference for other people and inspire others to treat people with more kindness as well. In that way, everyone can participate in changing how people see the world.


Exercise 1: Analyze an essay

Use questions like these to evaluate the example essay

  1. Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic?
  2. Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it match the style of the essay?
  3. Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence?
  4. Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order?
  5. Look at each body. Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence?
  6. Look at each body. Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order?
  7. Look at each body. Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader?
  8. Look at each body. Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically?
  9. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
  10. Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end?


Kominicki, J. L. (1984, May 18). The airlift's 'Candy Bomber' returns to Berlin. Stars and Stripes. https://edtechbooks.org/-xHvj 

Hollenhorst, J. (2014, September 15). Utah 'Candy Bomber' still getting accolades 66 years later. Deseret News. https://edtechbooks.org/-UkbN 

Lauterborn, D. (2022). 'Candy Bomber' Gail Halvorse, 101, waged an ideological battle for Berlin. https://edtechbooks.org/-Kyea 

**This reference page is aligned with the APA style guide, but you are not expected to format your papers exactly like this during the semeser. You will learn how to fully format a references page as you continue in your US academic experience.

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