Operation Baby Lift – 3,300 Orphan Babies Had Been Evacuated and Adopted


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The recorder of the ill-fated flight was later on found together with wreckage from the rear doors in the South China Sea. Investigators then found out that the crash was a result of faulty lock doors, fitted improperly after being replaced for spares. To add on to that, a surviving crew member did confirm that there was difficulty in closing the doors upon flight, which later exploded as a result from increased air pressure.

As for the victims, particularly the children, countries worked hand in hand to give them a proper funeral. They were said to be cremated and their remains were kept in a Catholic cemetery in Pattaya, Thailand. Some facts about the remaining survivors and children who were part of the succeeding flights were still under debate, as people claimed some of them were not orphans and their families asked that they be returned to them as the war already came to an end.

To this day, efforts to match children with their biological families continue even if more than 2,000 were already adopted.


Among the casualties of the C5A-Galaxy was Sergeant Kenneth E. Nance, whose uniform appears in the photo below.

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The crash was made into several documentaries, one of the notable ones was National Geographic’s Air Crash Investigation. Every April, veterans have come to honor all those participated in Operated Babylift.


But it was in April 2015 that the military finally unveiled a memorial in Holmdel, New Jersey.

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In addition to keeping the massive humanitarian effort alive, the clothes worn by the babies were collected and made into a quilt. Other memorabilia included the painting Heather’s Homecoming Day featured in the award-winning documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam.


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