Phillip R. Wise was born in Hanford, California and raised in Flint, Michigan. After graduating from Southwestern High School he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He served as a Medical Technician in Vietnam and was aboard the ill fated first flight in Operation Babylift which was ordered by President Ford to evacuate the Ameri-asian orphans at the fall of Saigon. Phil was the only surviving crewmember that was in the cargo hold where hundreds died. After his retirement from the USAF, Phil graduated from Mott Community College and joined the US postal service. He appeared on the ABC News Magazine 20/20 and shared his Babylift story. Years later Phil began to reunite with the Operation Babylift kids who did make it out on subsequent flights.
He began to share his Operation Babylift story and became a sought after speaker at events including The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and the University of Michigan Flint. Phil decided to share his story with the world as he became the proud published author of Fragile Delivery: The Operation Babylift C-5A Galaxy Crash. Phil has a deep devotion to his family and still resides in Flint, Michigan with his wife, Tess and their dog Chloe.
COPY OF PHIL'S
Finally, after a long wait inside the squadron the mission was on the way. I was alerted to fly at 0655 hours by the CQ (charge of quarters), five minutes before my alert duty was over. My initial thought was that maybe there was a mistake. I called the squadron to confirm the mission and so it was a go. I grabbed my bags and caught a taxi to the flight line. I ran toward the aircraft, a DC-9 nightingale that had the engines started and ready to taxi...