For more than 60 years, Airmen have been playing Santa Claus for more than 30,000 islanders of Micronesia, delivering donated goods from their C-130 Hercules sleigh in the longest-running humanitarian airlift mission in the world: Operation Christmas Drop.
According to legend, the first drop occurred around Christmas in 1952 when an aircrew assigned to the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam parachuted a box of goods down to villagers on a tiny island. Six years later, the organized tradition was officially deemed “Operation Christmas Drop.”
In an effort to capture the mission from the islanders’ perspectives, Master Sgt. Cameron Leslie of the 36th Wing brought his camera on a two-week trip around the various islands of Micronesia and shared the resulting video with the world via YouTube.