PBS offers a good introduction to Operation Babylift:
Also, if you were on Babylift and would like to contact others from this episode of Vietnamese adoption please email email@example.com for details as a growing list of contacts is developing thanks to the community’s networking and sharing with each other.
Operation Babylift – 35 Years On
On the 35th Anniversary (2010) AVI page you can explore some of the events, media stories and other activities surrounding the 35th anniversary of Operation Babylift and also the adopted Vietnamese migration that occured throughtout the Vietnam War – the ‘First Generation’ of Vietnamese adoptees.
Operation Babylift – 30 Years On
On the 30th Anniversary (2005) AVI page you can explore some of the events and other activities surrounding the 30th anniversary of Operation Babylift and also of the adopted Vietnamese migration that occured throughout the Vietnam War – the ‘First Generation of Vietnamese adoptees’.
Babylift people in contact with AVI includes:
Marion Davies (orphanage carer)
John Douglas (flight crew – now resides QLD)
Ian Frame (flight crew – now resides QLD)
Graham Stern (flight crew – now resides QLD)
Chris Sturt (Manly Quarantine Centre nurse)
Dai Le (documentary maker of Operation Babylift has created the Operation Babylift Facebook Group)
Joyce Harrington (flight crew)
Sister Susan McDonald (Catholic orphanage carer/babylift volunteer)
Leann Thieman (volunteer flight crew)
Cherie Clark (orphanage carer).
Safi Dub ( read her story on the Safi Thi-Kim Dub’s Story AVI page)
Some UK adoptees can be found on the Facebook group above.
C5 Galaxy Crash:
Survivors of the C5 Galaxy plane crash who wish to contact each other can find more details on the special C5 Galaxy Crash AVI page which documents the tragedy of the C5 Galaxy Crash. Also Bud Traynor has also started the C-5A Galaxy BABYLIFT Crash Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_31158998509
Babylift Then – Photos
The following photos are the property of Ian Frame who has generously shared them with the adopted Vietnamese community here (click thumbnails to enlarge):
Archive Media Articles
Archive media articles scanned and stored are now available on the below link, kindly supplied by Kevin Miller (of amerasianworld.com).
National Archives of Australia
Records from 1971 – 1975
The above link has some interesting articles about adoption from Vietnam, particularly the airlifts. Note that a member who is also a child of Operation Babylift has kindly shared her concern over some of the information about Operation Babylift, now available at the National Archives in Australia.
Most, if not all the information, we agreed, is very important and that the people directly involved (and others such as historians, researchers etc. who are bound by ethical committees) should be able to access it.
The concern, however, is how explicit some of the information is – especially to do with health records. These records are over 30 years old now, but the Operation Babylift children are of course now grown adults who might like some things to remain private. I have no idea where the legality of things stand, but one option, should you be worried about any records of yours now being openly available. is to write a letter to National Archives Australia (NAA) to express your concern.
Link to archival Vietnamese War adoption articles General:
35th Projects, News & Events AVI page
News 12 New Jersey’s Kelly Harney has their story
(11/23/02) HOLMDEL – Some adoptees from Operation Babylift were remembered Saturday. These were the children orphaned decades ago by the Vietnam War and then brought to the United States.
Some 70,000 babies and children were left orphaned. Only 2,000 made it to the United States. Life was hard for those left behind.
Radio Interview (if you have an updated link to this resource please contact us).
Viktoria Cowley Radio Interviews
Interviewed by Nicky Campbell on BBC Five Live this morning – click through to 2hrs 39mins:
Interview on BBC Sussex yesterday morning before the Inside Out feature – click through to 2 hrs 12 mins:
BBC Story online:
If the links above are broken you maybe able to find the video/interviews on Viktoria’s Youtube Channel:
The Life we were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam,
by Dana Sachs
Book out in 2010 - Q and A with author at zimbio.com:
Saturday’s Courier Mail (26 May, 2007) featured an article “Flown away to a new life”, which explores two of the stories about Operation Babylift documented at the State Library’s Water, Trees, and Roots: stories from the Queensland Vietnamese community exhibition. Both Jen Fitzpatrick and Ian Frame feature and here is the link to their stories:
Some of the People Include
Evacuation tale by Phyllis Schumann, Civilian (formerly Flight Officer RAAF Nursing Service):
Operation Babylift, An Interview with Cherie Clark recallIing the tulmultous events of Operation Babylift (Comeunity website):
Joyce Wertz Harrington
This Must Be My Brother, An Interview with LeAnn Thieman discussing her inspirational adoption journey and volunteer work during Operation Babylift. (Comeunity website)
Shirley Peck Barnes
Author of The War Cradle
You can also try: www.amazon.com/War-Cradle-Untold-Operation-Babylift/dp/0970688407
adoptive parent, has also set up a website
Volunteers from The Vietnam War
Volunteers from The Vietnam War such as those involved with Davis Station in Vietnam, and the Quarantine Station in Australia, have been in contact with networks of AVI. Please email adoptedvietnamese@hotmail for more info. Also see AVI Australians page for Chris Sturt’s report on the Quarantine Station.
One of the flight crew for the Australian leg of Operation Babylift and is now in contact with a couple of people from that time (Ian Frame and Graham Stehn). There is a meet up in planning as these men would like to meet the kids they assisted with travelling to Australia. If you are Brisbane email adoptedvietnamese@hotmail for more info.
Other References Include
List of Stories and articles about Operation Babylift:
In Remembrance of the Babylift Airplane Crash An adoptive mother rec the morning of the crash, Susan Winterbottom, USA
Legacy of Operation Babylift, Allison Martin, Adoption Today, Volume 2, Number 4 March 2000 – Adopt Vietnam, USA
Operation Babylift Returns , Vietnam War Orphans Visit Their Birthplace , By Tini Tran, ABC News 2000, USA abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/vietnam000403.html
The Pan Am Airlift — April 5, 1975 Operation Babylift By Joyce Wertz Harrington, RN © 2000 Copyright Joyce Harrington, USA
The Last Orphan by Gary Trudeau – When Operation Babylift made headlines in spring 1975, a new character, the last orphan out of Vietnam, appeared in Doonesbury. Through this character, Kim Rosenthal, Trudeau tackled the complicated issues of the Babylift.
Also see the AVI Documentaries page