Searching for Vietnamese adoptees via UK Operation Babylift 1975

Message from Helen Jacobus in the UK

I would like to trace a little girl I looked after, Thi Bich Lien, who was adopted by a family in France at the end of the Vietnam War. She was on the Daily Mail airlift to London on April 6, 1975 (the only airlift to the UK). I cared for her when she came off the flight until she was taken to hospital. She was very sick.

I was a volunteer with a refugee organisation, The Ockenden Venture, that looked after about 100 children and babies at their centres in Camberley and Haslemere, Surrey, who were airlifted from orphanages in Saigon. Most of the children were adopted privately. This is the photo of Bich Lien with me in the reception centre in Camberley the day that she came out of hospital, looking happy and healthy.

Bich Lien and Helen Jacobus, 1975

As no records are available to me, I would be grateful to hear from her. I would like to know how she is.

I would also be interested to hear from other people who were on this airlift, including those who went on to France, Belgium and Switzerland from this airlift. They were under the auspices of the children’s charities / agencies, Terre des Hommes (TDH), International Social Services (ISS) and Enfants Du Monde (EDM). The adoptees may not know that they were on this flight as TDH say that they were not, and their records have been lost.

Here is a list of their names on the flight list, some with the names of the families who adopted them, the country they went to and the charity / agency. Please share. Thank you.

Cu Viet Ky (France) (TDH)

Huynh Trung Huy (France) (TDH)

Thanh Thuc (France) (TDH)

Thi Bich Lien (France) (TDH) (See photo)

Ngoc Hanh (France) (TDH)

Thi Hanh (France) (TDH)

Nguyen Thi Hong Sa (France) (TDH)

Thi Diem Trang (France) (TDH)

Thi Tha Ta. (France) (TDH)

Nguyen Thi Duong Nhi (France) (TDH)

Thi Thah Bang (France) (TDH/ ISS)

Thao Suong ((Belgium) EDM)

Dinh Trong Hieu (Belgium) (about 5 years old) (EDM)

Le Thi Thuy Loan (Belgium) (about 6 years old) (EDM)

Nguyen Thi Thu Thao (Belgium) (about 6 years old )(EDM)

Thi Duong Nhi (Family Poliquen) (France) (ISS)

Tran Phuc Thai and Cu Van Chan (France) (ISS)

Dang Hung Cuong (Family Guillonet) (France) (ISS)

Nguyen Thi My Linh (Family Delannay) (France) (ISS)

Nguyen Thi My Nhan (Family Lancrenon) (France) (ISS)

Thi Thanh Bang (France) (TDH/ ISS)

Nguyen Van Thanh (Family Akre) (Switzerland) (ISS)

Phi Cong (Switzerland) (ISS)

Helen also wrote a short summary of the UK Operation Babylift for those interested has a flight list and some of the artefacts surrounding the media coverage at the time. You can contact Helen at


Vietnamese airlift orphans land in the UK, archive 1975

BBC: The Airmail Orphan

Bring me 150 babies

New Statesman articles 1984