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Operation Haylift

Operation Haylift(1950)

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The opening credits include the following written prologue: "This production was photographed entirely in Ely, Nevada and was made possible through the cooperation of the Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force and the Department of Agriculture."
       In January and February 1949, much of the U.S. experienced very severe weather conditions. Several of the western states, including Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and Montana, had the worst blizzards in Weather Bureau records, and it was feared that livestock losses might total five million dollars. According to a January 7, 1949 Los Angeles Times article, the U.S. Air Force assigned eighteen C-82 troop carriers to Nevada and the Rocky Mountain region to drop bales of hay close to starving livestock. The operation was supervised by the Federal Works Administration, and the ranchers were not charged for the emergency flights.
       According to a September 6, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item, this picture was the first to be personally produced by Murray Lerner. Although the Daily Variety review credits Frank Fox as associate producer, he is credited onscreen as assistant director. On March 16, 1950, Hollywood Reporter reported that Lippert Productions was planning to promote the picture by recreating in miniature the original Rocky Mountain haylift by dropping 10,000 tiny bales of hay in that area. According to a April 7, 1950 Hollywood Reporter news item, a flying contingent from Wright-Patterson Field joined in the premiere festivities in Ely.