Holder of the ONA Super Wings Gold Elf Award for magnificent contributions to the ONA Crew Web
MAGGIE LLOYD ZEIBAK - AMAZING ONA CREW -

VIETNAM COLLECTION
by ONA CREW












TACHIKAWA TO
VIETNAM

by F/E AL QUACK



Na Trang Beach

Vietnam Footprints



Cam Ranh Bay




WAKE ISLAND, PACIFIC OCEAN
US TERRITORY





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ONA LA SUPERVISOR
MAGGIE LLOYD ZEIBAK



MAGGIE LLOYD ZEIBAK ON ONA

Maggie Lloyd Zeibak
ONA Los Angeles Supervisor
author of article

Return to Tent City
by Maggie Lloyd Zeibak
Thirty-five years ago, in the early summer of 1975, 
the Fall of Saigon was over. Thousands of desperate 
refugees stampeded to obtain any means of transport 
leaving the country, and they were forced to make heart-
rending decisions concerning their families. Avoiding 
death or mistreatment was uppermost in the minds of the 
terror-stricken Vietnamese. Who can forget the image of 
Ed Daley, President of World Airways, fighting and 
beating back people who were clinging to the aft 
stairwell, as the plane was in take-off mode? The Da 
Nang rescue was for women and children, but soldiers 
fought their way to the aircraft trying to get on 
board.

During the evacuation, many US charter and commercial 
airlines operated flights to Wake Island, Guam and the 
US, but many panicked residents of Vietnam who could 
not get a seat, packed themselves into rickety boats 
and set sail hoping to find safety – some did; others 
perished or were taken captive. Makeshift boats, 
overloaded to a dangerous capacity with dehydrated, 
starving people, were preyed upon by pirates. Adrift 
on an unforgiving ocean with no shelter from the 
elements, some escaped to freedom, others to holding 
camps where they were held prisoner.

The freedom camps in the US were hastily constructed, 
temporary housing facilities on military bases, which 
also served as destinations for Operation Baby Lift. 
Vietnamese and Cambodian orphans were airlifted into 
the US to be cared for by voluntary adoption agencies.

Camp Pendleton Marine Base in Southern California was 
part of Operation New Life, receiving evacuated 
refugees who were medically screened and treated 
before taking a step towards a new beginning in 
America. Eight Tent Cities within the Base were home 
to 36,000 people who had virtually no possessions and 
had barely escaped with their lives.

ONA’s DC-10s figured prominently in the humanitarian 
flights, where the contrast between orderly military 
flights and getting a large number of people relocated 
was overwhelming. As the American public welcomed them 
in so many ways, there was a call for sponsors to help 
them find jobs and assist them in blending into the 
community.

Steedman and Ingrid Hinckley spearheaded a company 
project to sponsor the wellbeing of a group of 
individuals to be hired as Flight Attendants. Rapidly, 
arrangements swung into action.

Toting the necessary paperwork and application forms, 
Marliese Berger and I found ourselves driving down the 
San Diego Freeway to Camp Pendleton, California. Our 
mission – recruit a class from the Vietnamese and 
Cambodian populations.



Ingrid Hinckley Lindsay, Sam Rogers Marliese Berger Edelman and Sigrid Glemnitz White Kornacher at ONA New York 2003 crew reunion. Upon arrival at the Base there weren’t the security issues that are in place today as we were able to drive freely inside and without an escort. The Red Cross had set up the Job Center and ushered us into a tent that had very little ventilation – the same tents the refugees were living in for 24-hours a day. The candidates had been pre-screened for us and were predominantly males who had held responsible positions in Vietnam. Would these people adapt to the menial tasks given to cabin crew? It was going to be a tough call. By the time candidate number 5 walked in, it was obvious that the grapevine was working well. Clearly, the previous candidates had shared the questions and were rehearsing the answers with the next in line. Almost immediately, candidate number 5 volunteered, “I can swim!” without being asked the question. Oh dear. This was not what we expected and became increasingly unhappy about the outcome of the day. In particular, we were dreading telling Mr.Hinckley that we couldn’t find appropriate candidates, so we continued the interviewing process, hoping against hope that some stars would appear. But the language was a problem. Very few had command of the English language and it was even worse in the Cambodian camp. We abandoned the mission, regretful and disillusioned. Later, another plan was made to recruit in Guam where four men and seven women (Duc Thang Tran, An Nguyen, Cong Nguyen, Suree Richardson, Phuc Kim Nguyen, Phuoc Nguyen, Ly Diep, Anh Kim Dowd, Quyen Nguyen, Chau Diep, Trang Nguyen) were invited to ONA’s Flight Attendant Training School in New York under the able supervision of Chris Dawkins-Mathison. Here it is in August 2010 and I am driving down the same freeway headed for the same destination – Camp Pendleton, Ca. This time my mission is to view a photographic exhibit ‘Images at War’s End’ displayed in the historic Ranch House on the Base. Entering the Visitor’s lane, my identification was quickly slipped through a scanning device and the sentry gave me vague directions – “Darn”, I thought, “still no military escort”? The main road was very busy due to 150 Marines and sailors returning from a seven-month tour in Iraq, plus big time maneuvers were underway. I could feel the reverberations of the high explosive munitions being dropped and I wasn’t too pleased to hear that part of the exercise included Mortar and Artillery Live Fire, but I was well away from the danger zone. Driving past the yellow, scrubby brush it was obvious that this Base was a lot different from 1975, especially when McDonald’s came into view, together with other fast food restaurants and cinemas. The sharp hills prevented any view on one side and on the other, not far beyond the buildings, lay the Freeway. The exhibit was behind a creaky screen door and my footsteps echoed on the wood floor – I was the only one there. I entered two small rooms hung with paintings by Col. Charles Waterhouse (Resident Artist of the USMC) and photographs of the Tent City. They showed the daily life of the refugees, the medical care, the laundry facilities, the games and the weddings – their lives under canvas immortalized on canvas. Rounding the corner of a freestanding screen, I stood still. Amazingly, right before my eyes was a photograph of an Overseas National Airways aircraft deplaning passengers back in 1975. I smiled. Things have a way of coming full circle, don’t they? Pure serendipity.
















Ingrid and Steedman Hinckley at
an ONA aircraft christening



Steedman Hinckley praising
ONA Flight Attendants for their
charitable and compassionate
action on the misson of carrying
Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees
from Guam to the US.

Flying with Bill

BILL PARKS




LEO SKELLY, ONA TOKIO

Bien Hoa AB





LINDA VOOR 1975 BABYLIFT


Photos courtesy
Gunilla Bjuréus Stark




LAST DAY OF TROOP
WITHDRAWAL AT DANANG - 1975


Photos courtesy
Joyce Olson



Goran in Vietnam

TOKIO - DA NANG




Elisabeth at Cam Ranh




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Warranty - WEBSITE FIRST PUBLISHED AUGUST 30, 2003