Beginning of Mass Evacuation of Children from South Vietnam, Codenamed Operation Babylift
Operation Babylift was the name given to the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to the United States and other countries (including Australia, France, and Canada) at the end of the Vietnam War (see also the Fall of Saigon), from April 3-26, 1975. By the final American flight out of South Vietnam, over 3,300 infants and children had been evacuated, although the actual number has been variously reported. Along with Operation New Life, over 110,000 refugees were evacuated from South Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War. Thousands of children were airlifted from Vietnam and adopted by families around the world.
Humanitarian groups working with orphans in Vietnam were advocating that the American government undertake an emergency evacuation. With South Vietnam's reluctant agreement, President Gerald Ford announced on April 3 that Operation Babylift would fly some of the estimated 70,000 orphans out of Vietnam with $2 million from a special foreign aid children's fund. Thirty flights were planned to evacuate the babies and children.