Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

Marking 40 Years Since the Vietnamese Orphan Airlift

Posted on April 13th, 2015 by pajamapress

LastAirlift_Website 40 years ago this month, approximately 3,000 orphans, mostly babies, were hurried onto airplanes departing Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). The city was about to fall to the North Vietnamese forces, and humanitarian organizations worried that many orphans, especially those fathered by American soldiers or those with disabilities, would be at risk. Families in Canada, the United States, and other nations signed up to adopt the evacuated orphans.

OneStepAtATimeThe project, known as the “Orphan Airlift” in Canada and “Operation Babylift” in the United States, is not without controversy, but for Tuyet Morris, Née Son Thi Anh Tuyet, it was the beginning of a miraculous new life. Older than the other orphans and physically disabled from polio, she had never expected to be adopted. The story of her rescue on the final Canadian airlift, her adoption into the loving Morris family, and her determined struggle to walk and play like other children, is recounted in the juvenile biographies Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War and One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way. Author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch reflects on the experience of discovering Tuyet’s story:

“It was a revelation to finally discover Tuyet. I had been wanting to write about the airlift rescue for quite some time and had wanted to write the story from the point of view of one of the rescued children. But because most of those rescued were babies at the time, it meant my days were spent interviewing adoptive parents and the story from their perspective. Interesting and poignant, yes, but not the story I wanted to tell.

And then, through the grapevine, I found out that the oldest orphan on that last flight to Canada lived in my own home town. Not only that, but she lived around the corner from my old house and her kids went to the same school that my son had gone to.

I looked up her phone number and called out of the blue. She was receptive and friendly and agreed to meet. We chose a local Vietnamese restaurant.

And the rest, they say, is history.”

—Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

More content related to the Orphan Airlift:


Plaque Unveiling and Book Launch for Dance of the Banished by Marsha Skrypuch

Posted on August 13th, 2014 by pajamapress


SmartGIRL WORKs interview with Connie Brummel Crook

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by pajamapress

The 200th anniversary of Laura Secord’s famous walk is June 22nd, 2013. With this date fast approaching, SmartGIRL WORKs interviewed author Connie Brummel Crook (Acts of Courage: Laura Secord and the War of 1812) to talk about this Canadian heroine and what it was like to writer her story.

Here is a sneak preview:

“When I was teaching, I noticed that there were many fine, contemporary books about a  number of teenagers’ present-day problems in our classrooms, but very little about our own Canadian heroes. Americans celebrate their heroes. Why shouldn’t we? So I have been writing historical fiction novels since I took early retirement from teaching. ”

Click here to read the full interview.