SALT LAKE CITY — Ret. Col. Gail Halvorsen has recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 in December, the executive director of Gail S. Halvorsen Aviation Education Foundation confirmed on Tuesday.
The 100-year-old Utah native is a former U.S. Air Force pilot known for dropping hundreds of candy boxes over West Berlin during the Soviets' blockade after World War II.
Halvorsen began developing symptoms of COVID-19 on Dec. 11 and later tested positive for the disease. Halvorsen, who lives in a retirement home in Provo, was quarantined after testing positive.
According to the foundation's executive director, Jim Stewart, Halvorsen experienced symptoms for 10 days before fully recovering from the virus on Jan. 24.
"I was pleasantly surprised at how well he sprung back," Stewart said.
The former pilot has regained fame in recent months as several Utah lawmakers recommended Halvorsen should be awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest honor a civilian can receive.
According to the foundation, when Stewart went to go visit Halvorsen, the centenarian was eager to return to Berlin for a visit.
"We're grateful for the faith and prayers from everyone around us and the others who've been affected by this," said Stewart. "Faith and a positive attitude will get you through a lot of stuff."