In 1975, frantic residents of South Vietnam sought to flee their country, under imminent takeover by North Vietnam. Thousands rushed to escape on boats, airplanes and helicopters. U.S. President Gerald Ford activated “Operation Babylift” to save as many orphaned South Vietnamese infants as possible.
In his historical novel “Struggle to Survive,” U.S. Marine Capt. William T. Yaley chronicles the panic that ensued as the South Vietnamese attempted to save themselves from capture and probable death. He described the scene to members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos at their April 25 meeting.