The United States intent had always been to rebuild the German Republic, and late in 1947 it began moving towards that goal. Repeatedly, the Soviet Union refused to agree, and after the Marshall Plan went into effect on March 31, 1948, the Soviets began to search all cars, trucks and supply trains that entered East Germany.
France joined the other Allies in June, and in July West Germany was told to begin printing its own money. The following day, under orders from Stalin, all rail and road traffic was halted. President Truman looked to his armed forces to come up with a plan to relieve the city.
Although General Curtis LeMay, commander of U. S. Air Forces in Europe gave the order for the Berlin Air Lift to start, it was Marietta
native Lucius Clay who is recognized to be the driving force behind the plan, although he did not conceive the original idea.
Once convinced that an air-lift to supply a major city was possible, he immediately began to plan to move 4,500 tons of food a day to supply Berlin. When more planes were needed in October, Clay fought the National Security Council and won, thanks to the timely intervention of "Give 'em Hell" Harry.