How did the US respond to the Berlin blockade in 1948?

Following the imposition of the Berlin Blockade by the USSR, in an attempt to force the Allies from Berlin, on 24 June 1948, the US and British (who were already airlifting supplies for their troops in Berlin and had already conducted a "little Lift" for the civilian population earlier that year following Soviet restrictions on rail and road movement), decided to implement Operation Vittles to supply the city. The Air Lift began on 25 June 1948.

Over 4,000 tons of supplies per day were required by the Berlin population during the airlift. To achieve this, the United States Air Force, Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth nations flew over 200,000 flights providing 13,000 tons of food daily to Berlin in an operation lasting almost a year. By the spring of 1949, the effort was clearly succeeding, and by April the airlift was delivering more cargo than had previously flowed into the city by rail.

The success of the Airlift was humiliating to the Soviets, who had repeatedly claimed it could never work. When it became clear that it did work, the blockade was lifted in May. Even with the lifting of the blockade, the western Aliies continued with the Air Lift, to build up a comfortbale 3-month supply in the city, should the Soviets attempt to blockade the city again.

Despite the Soviet blockade of Berlin ending on 12 May, 1949, the Berlin Air Lift continued, in order to build up supplies in case of a further blockade. The airlift officially ended on 30 September 1949, after 16 months.

Following the blockade, the Soviets refused to return to the Allied Control Council in Berlin, rendering the four-power occupation authority of Berlin, set up at the Potsdam conference, useless.