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1975

Operation "Baby Lift” concludes after flying 2,600 South Vietnamese orphans to the U.S.

The American airlift of Vietnamese orphans to the United States ends after 2,600 children are transported to America. The operation began disastrously on April 4 when an Air Force cargo jet crashed shortly after take-off from Tan Son Nhut airbase in Saigon. More than 138 of the passengers, mostly children, were killed. Operation Baby Lift was initiated to bring South Vietnamese orphans to the United States for adoption by American parents. Baby Lift lasted 10 days and was carried out during the final, desperate phase of the war, as North Vietnamese forces were closing in on Saigon. Although the first flight ended in tragedy, all other flights took place without incident, and Baby Lift aircraft ferried orphans across the Pacific until the mission concluded on April 14, only 16 days before the fall of Saigon and the end of the war.

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