The Pan Am Museum Foundation and Holt International are proud to present Operation BabyLift, a special event on April 24th at 6pm to mark the 47th Anniversary of the evacuation of Vietnamese war orphans to loving families in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany.
Attending the event will be adoptees from the Pan Am flights, adoptive parents, several volunteer flight attendants, volunteer medical professionals and Al Topping, Pan Am’s Director of South Vietnam & Cambodia, along with several members of his Saigon staff who organized the evacuation flights.
In early April 1975, President Gerald Ford authorized $2 million funding of Operation BabyLift for evacuation flights of orphans on military charter and Pan Am planes. The first flight on a military charter on April 4, 1975 ended in tragedy when it crashed in a rice paddy.
Two Pan Am 747’s were then chartered, one by Holt International and the other by AmeriCares to evacuate survivors of the military charter as well as more than 300 babies and children. One of the Pan Am flights arrived in San Francisco carrying over 300 children and was met there by President and Mrs. Ford. The other flight arrived in Seattle carrying over 400 children. After arrival many of the babies were sent onto other US destinations to be welcomed into their adoptive families.