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PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
Babylift gallery

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    Babylift gallery - Photos courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small was about 2 years old in the photo at left of her with her birth mother, Nguyen thi Dep, in Vietnam in the early 1970s. Back then, Small's name was Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai. At right, Small hugs Nguyen Thi Dep before leaving Vietnam after their recent reunion. Nguyen gave Small up for adoption in Operation Babylift in the days before the fall of Saigon in Vietnam 44 years ago.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small of Scarborough, right, with her birth mother, Nguyen Thi Dep, at a restaurant in Vietnam during a recent reunion trip. They had not seen each other since Nguyen gave Small up for adoption in Operation Babylift in April 1975, near the end of the Vietnam War.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Nguyen Thi Dep works as a switchboard operator, a job she held at a U.S. military installation in Saigon during the Vietnam War.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    An undated photo taken in Vietnam of Leigh Boughton Small's birth parents, Joseph O'Neal, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War in the late 1970s, and Nguyen Thi Dep, who reunited with Small in November.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small was about 2 years old in this photo of her with her birth mother, Nguyen Thi Dep, in Vietnam in the early 1970s. Back then her name was Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai. She recently reunited with her birth mother in Vietnam 44 years after she gave her up for adoption in Operation Babylift in the days before the fall of Saigon.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    An undated photo taken in Vietnam of Nguyen Thi Dep, at left, with her daughter, Leigh Boughton Small, on her lap. At right are Nguyen Thi Dep's sisters.

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    Babylift gallery - Peter O'Loughlin/Associated Press | of | Share this photo

    Vietnamese children fill seats of a C-5A Galaxy transport plane for the first flight of Operation Babylift from Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Air Base at the end of the Vietnam War. Minutes after takeoff on April 4, 1975, the plane crashed, killing 78 children and about 50 adults.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small, whose birth name was Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai, in an undated photo likely taken when she was about 2 years old in Vietnam.

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    Babylift gallery - Associated Press File Photo | of | Share this photo

    Vietnamese children look out the windows of a World Airways DC-8 jet as it flies them to the United States during Operation Babylife in April 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small, whose birth name was Nguyen Thi Phuong Mai, in Vietnam at about 3 years old, just before she was sent to the United States in Operation Babylift. Small says that when she saw this photo, she recognized herself and knew that Nguyen Thi Dep was her birth mother.

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    Babylift gallery - Associated Press File Photo | of | Share this photo

    A U.S. civilian pilot in the aircraft doorway tries to maintain order as panicking South Vietnamese civilians scramble to get aboard during evacuation of Nha Trang on April 1, 1975. Thousands of civilians and South Vietnamese soldiers fought for space on the aircraft to Saigon as communist forces advanced following the fall of Qui Nhon, to the north.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    During their recent reunion in Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Dep shows Leigh Boughton Small a lock of her birth father's hair that she has kept for more than 40 years.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Nguyen Thi Dep sings "Leaving on a Jet Plane" during a recent backyard karaoke session with family members in Vietnam. Nguyen gave up her daughter, Leigh Boughton Small of Scarborough, 44 years ago during Operation Babylift at the end of the Vietnam War. The two were reunited in November.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small of Scarborough, second from left, poses for a photo with her family and her birth mother, Nguyen Thi Dep, at right, and some of Nguyen's relatives at a restaurant in Vietnam during a recent trip in which Small and Nguyen were reunited after 44 years.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Three generations: Leigh Boughton Small, 47, center, with her daughter, Audrey, 16, and her birth mother, Nguyen Thi Dep, 70, during a recent reunion trip to Vietnam.

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    Babylift gallery - Photo courtesy of Leigh Boughton Small | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small of Scarborough, fourth from left, and her family, on right side of photo, share a meal with her birth mother Nguyen Thi Dep, third from left, and relatives during a recent trip to Vietnam. To Small's right are her daughter, Audrey, sons, Jack and Griffin, and husband, Jeff.

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    Babylift gallery - Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Leigh Boughton Small in her home in Scarborough this month. Small's birth mother gave her up for adoption as part of Operation Babylift, before the fall of Saigon, at the end of the Vietnam War. They finally found each other in September and were reunited in Vietnam in November.

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