The Berlin Airlift (1948-1949) was an action during the Cold War taken by the United States and allied Western European nations to airlift food and other necessities into a Communist-surrounded west Berlin. The American action was given the name Operation Vittles, the British one was called Plain Fare.
It was launched on June 26, 1948 after the Soviet Union started a land blockade of West Berlin on April 1, 1948. The USSR lifted its blockade at midnight, on May 11, 1949. However, the Airlift did not end until September 30, as the Western nations wanted to build up sufficient amounts of supplies in West Berlin in case the Soviets blockaded it again.
See also History of Germany.