Operation Babylift was the name given to the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to numerous countries across the world, including Australia.
On 22 March 1975, the Saigon Post newspaper reported that the United States was beginning to airlift 10,000 refugees a day from the central Vietnam city of Da Nang. Australia also began airlifting orphans from April 1975.
Some saw Operation Babylift as a humanitarian act, whilst others were concerned about the future of the children in Australia.
Sadly, the first plane bound for the United States crashed only twelve minutes after take-off. Some 143 babies and volunteers were killed, including two Australians from Adelaide, who had volunteered to help with the children. This tragedy, however, did not deter the operation from continuing.
Approximately 3000 orphans were evacuated from Vietnam during April 1975.