The winter of 1948 to 1949 in Northern Nevada found millions of sheep and cattle starving and stranded in the worst winter since 1889. The United States Air Force used C-82 cargo planes, so called “Flying Boxcars” to drop desperately needed hay to the marooned livestock. In the first seven days, 525 tons of alfalfa were dropped.
Caption and image below by UNR:
“Operation Haylift. Capt. D. L. Sayle, Operations Officer, 62nd Troop Carrier Group from McChord Field, Washington, plots his 250-mile course on a map while his C-82 flying boxcar planes are loaded early today with hay for starving, snowbound livestock in eastern Nevada. With him are Chief L. K. Vaughn, USN, Fallon base, and Flight Lt. Peter E. Berry, RAF exchange officer from Devonshire, England. Fallon, Nevada. January 24, 1949.”
Churchill County, Nevada
Electronic Publisher Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
Hollywood made Operation Haylift into a movie in 1950. The movie was filmed around Ely, the base of the original operation.