The plane crash that killed 76 orphans on their way to Australia.

It was the end of the Vietnam war and the mass evacuation of nearly 3000 orphans.

This month marks the 40th anniversary of Vietnam’s ‘Operation Babylift’ and April 30 the anniversary of the fall of Saigon and end of the Vietnam war.

‘Operation Babylift’ was the mass evacuation of more than 3000 Vietnamese orphans of war to countries like Australia and the United States.

Not many people know that the first plane to take off crashed, killing 76 of those children.

Channel 7 reporter and documentary maker, Cath Turner was one of the children who was later brought to Australia. She talks to Mamamia TV in our new video series Resilience about life as an orphan of the Vietnam war in a series of videos below.

In this video she first talks about the plane crash that halted ‘Operation Babylift’ and killed 78 children and 50 adults.

Here, Cath Turner talks about arriving in Australia.

“Dad got a call from world vision, they said ‘your baby has arrived’,” she says.

Turner tells Shelly Horton growing up different was challenging and she was bullied at school.


After nearly 30 years apart, Cath Turner finally reunited with her biological mother.

She shares that raw and beautiful moment here.

However, after finally meeting her mum, Cath Turner said she felt lost. 

“I was literally caught between two countries and two cultures,” she says.

You can watch the full interview here: