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Operation Haylift Photographs

Operation Haylift’s goal was to reach the stranded livestock via aircraft and drop enough feed to sustain them until they could be moved. Planes called “Flying Boxcars” loaded with hay took off from Fallon and Ely airports.

But the work wasn’t easy. Newsreel crews documented the process, giving us an idea of the steps involved with the airlifts. Click the video to watch!

Operation Haylift Eagle and Standard Clippings

This newspaper photo shows the plane dropping hay, with an arrow pointing to the animal far below.

Operation Haylift was an overwhelming success. In the first day, 16 planes dropped 150,000 pounds of hay for the sheep and cows, with similar missions flown in the following days. These efforts saved about 80-85% of the livestock.

Operation Haylift Photographs

The harshness of the winter was not constrained to Northern Nevada. Similar missions were flown in Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, and Northern California.

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