Operation Babylift

Operation Babylift – 40 Years On

Please see the AVI Face Book Page for various posts and this news post about the Presidio Exhibit in 2015

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’.

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


Archive Media Articles

Archive media articles scanned and stored are now available on the below link, kindly supplied by Kevin Miller (of amerasianworld.com).


PBS offers a good introduction to Operation Babylift:

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:

Related links:
35th Projects, News & Events AVI page

Archive Radio Info

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:

Archive Book Info

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:

Archive Print

South Australia – Adelaide Now (2015) Chantal Doecke – South Australian adoptee story


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:

Archive – Some of the People Include

Phyllis Schumann

Evacuation tale by Phyllis Schumann, Civilian (formerly Flight Officer RAAF Nursing Service):

Cherie Clark

Operation Babylift, An Interview with Cherie Clark recallIing the tulmultous events of Operation Babylift (Comeunity website):

Joyce Wertz Harrington

Operation Babylift Photos, Pan Am Airlift April 5, 1975 By Joyce Wertz Harrington & Edwina Aki Lee, ReJOYce118@aol.com , USA (Comeunity website)

LeAnn Thieman

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

Lana Noone

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.

John Douglas

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