April 4

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Apr 4, 1975:

Operation Baby Lift aircraft crashes

A major U.S. airlift of South Vietnamese orphans begins with disaster when an Air Force cargo jet crashes shortly after departing from Tan Son Nhut airbase in Saigon. More than 138 passengers, mostly children, were killed. Operation Baby Lift was designed to bring 2,000 South Vietnamese orphans to the United States for adoption by American parents. Baby Lift lasted for 10 days and was carried out during the final, desperate phase of the war, as North Vietnamese forces closed in on Saigon. Although this first flight ended in tragedy, all subsequent flights were completed safely, and Baby Lift aircraft brought orphans across the Pacific until the mission's conclusion on April 14, only 16 days before the fall of Saigon and the end of the war.

Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!

What Happened on Your Birthday?

Pick a Date

Shop HISTORY

  • Vietnam in HD DVD Set

    Vietnam in HD DVD Set

    Their story is in danger of being lost to history. This six-hour miniseries spans the massive initial troop build-up in 1965 to the fall of Saigon a decade later.

    $24.95

    Buy Now
  • Vietnam War DVD Set

    Vietnam War DVD Set

    America's first televised war comes starkly and comprehensively alive in this sweeping documentary collection.

  • Battle 360: The Bloody Battle of Guadalcanal DVD

    Battle 360: The Bloody Battle of Guadalcanal DVD

    Own this chronicle of the epic showdown with Japanese forces at Guadalcanal, one of the most critical battles in WWII.

    $9.98

    Buy Now