‘Operation Babylift’ orphans, soldiers reunite in New Jersey

Vietnamese orphans airlifted to the United States in the frantic final days of the Vietnam War have been reunited with some of the soldiers who helped evacuate them.

The reunion, which also involved the children’s adoptive families, took place Saturday during an event at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel. It marked the 40th anniversary of Operation Babylift.

Authorized by President Gerald Ford in April 1975, Operation Babylift evacuated 2,547 children to families in the United States and allied countries as Viet Cong troops descended on Saigon.

Participants at Saturday’s event dedicated a plaque inscribed with the names of 138 children, volunteers and soldiers who perished when their C-5A Galaxy crashed while headed to Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

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