Dayton, Ohio (KETK) — Thirty-nine years ago, on April 26, 1975, the last Operation Babylift left Vietnam. Approximately 2,700 children were flown out of South Vietnam to the U.S. and approximately 1,300 more children were flown to Canada, Australia, and Europe during the operation.
With the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang having fallen in March of 1975, and with Saigon under attack and being shelled, on April 3, 1975, U.S. President Gerald Ford announced that the U.S. government would begin evacuating orphans from Saigon on a series of 30 planned flights aboard. Flights continued until artillery attacks by North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong military units on Tan Son Nhut Airport rendered airplane flights impossible.
The operation was controversial because there was question about whether the evacuation was in the children's best interest, and because not all the children were orphans.
The Miami Valley Military History Museum is creating a special display to commemorate the event. The museum is located in Dayton, Ohio.