April 3, 1975

1975:    Operation BABYLIFT. A MAC C-5 crashes in an emergency landing near Saigon while flying the op’s 1st mission; 138 die and 176 survive the crash. Flight Nurse 1Lt Regina C. Aune ignores a broken leg and other injuries to help evacuate nearly 80 children from the plane’s wreckage. She received the 1975 Cheney Award for her efforts. The pilot and copilot, Captains Dennis W. Traynor III and Tilford W. Harp, receive the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism. Despite this tragedy, the operation succeeds as C-141s and commercial planes move 1,794 orphans from South Vietnam and Thailand to the US West Coast through 9 May.