The dramatic and heart-warming story of the last-minute evacuation of hundreds of orphaned babies from South Vietnam in the dying days of the Vietnam War and of the brave Australian nurses who made it happen.
In late March 1975, as the Vietnam War raged, an Australian voluntary aid worker named Rosemary Taylor approached the Australian Embassy seeking assistance to fly 600 orphans out of Saigon to safety.
Rosemary and Margaret Moses, two former nuns from Adelaide, had spent eight years in Vietnam during the war, building up a complex of nurseries to house war orphans and street waifs as the organisation that built up around them facilitated international adoptions for the children. As the North Vietnamese forces closed in on their nurseries, they needed a plan to evacuate the children, or all their work might count for little ...
Based on extensive archival and historical research, and interviews of some of those directly involved in the events described, Operation Babylift details the last month of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the most vulnerable victims of that war: the orphans it created. Through the story of the attempt to save 600 children, we see how a small group of determined women refused to play political games as they tried to remake the lives of a forgotten generation, one child at a time.
Ian W. Shaw is the author of six books: The Bloodbath, On Radji Beach, Glenrowan, The Ghosts of Roebuck Bay, The Rag Tag Fleet and Murder at Dusk. The Bloodbath was nominated for a Victorian Premier's Literary Award and was shortlisted in the Local History category. Ian is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and holds postgraduate degrees from Monash University and the University of Michigan. After ten years as a secondary school teacher, Ian worked in the Commonwealth public service and private enterprise for three decades, and is an expert on security issues. He lives in Canberra.