At a meeting tonight, a nurse shared a story about being a “lapper” to babies flown to Los Angeles after the fall of Saigon (now Ho Chí Minh City), Vietnam.
She said she sat in a converted airplane hangar with a constant rotation of hungry Vietnamese orphans on her lap, feeding them diluted rice porridge and flat Coca-Cola. Protein-rich normal baby food would have shocked their systems and killed them apparently.
I researched it back at home. Termed “Operation Babylift,” about 3,000 infants and children were flown over on freight planes to be nursed to health then adopted. They loaded babies into cardboard boxes that they strapped down, and older children sat on benches with seat belts.
I don’t know how I had never heard of this piece of history, but I am looking for a way to rent this movie: “Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam.” It’s not on Netflix.
Here are some more links for the interested:
What a strange and interesting world.