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Oct. 1, 2020
Phillip Wise: The Story of a Blue Collar Air Force War Hero
Phillip Wise was raised in a working-class family in blue-collar Flint.
Like many U.S. war veterans, Phillip Wise was a product of a working-class family and grew up in a blue-collar south side Flint, Michigan neighborhood. His values of service to the country were learned from his parents, who were blue-collar autoworkers.
In the spring of 1975, the U.S. government decided to save as many orphan babies as possible during the tumultuous fall of Saigon during the last days of the Vietnam War.
On April 4, an aircraft lifted off the ground with hundreds of babies and young children crowded into its upper and lower decks. The children were attended by a crew of dedicated military men and women. A few civilian volunteers were fleeing the chaos on the ground as well.
Then a mysterious event occurred: A rear door blew open, and the horror began 25,000 feet in the air.
A book written by a Flint man and US Postal Carrier, "Fragile Delivery: Operation Babylift, sheds light on the doomed C-5A flight. It also sheds light on his journey in recovering from the doomed flight.
The book details the brave men and women involved in Operation Babylift, Sgt Phillip Wise's story, and his near-impossible survival. Wise describes the plane split violently in the swampy rice paddies of Vietnam.
The storyline of the book follows Flint, Michigan native Sgt. Phillip R. Wise and his decades-long quest to find the answers about the crash. Wise describes the bond with the children of his mission, who were saved, and the small number of adults who survived the flight. His book honors the fallen and describes how he came to terms with why God let him live.
Sgt Wise was the only crew in the plane's cargo area to survive the tragic plane crash.
Wise told the Flint Journal, "The doctors thought I would be a vegetable. They thought I wouldn't be able to see out of my left eye or to walk," the decorated veteran and Flint postal worker said. "I came through with 20-20 vision. I became a mailman. I missed one day in 13 years."
The U.S. Air Force gave Phillip Wise a medal for his heroism for his part in the military operation to rescue these children.
Get the Book and Follow Phillip Wise
Phillip Wise is now part of a veterans group, Peaceful Warriors, who speak across Michigan and the U.S. about their role in helping others.
The book "Fragile Delivery: Operation Babylift" is available on Amazon Books.
Learn more about this riveting story and follow news reports and photos by visiting:
The Military Times, a story about a 40-year reunion of those involved in Operation Babylift;
Radio Free Flint Podcast, interview with Phillip Wise: "Harrowing Rescue of Orphan Babies, a plane Crash and a Flint Hero, Phillip Wise."
Arthur A Busch
Founder and Host of Radio Free Flint Podcast
Arthur Busch is a veteran lawyer and educator with an acclaimed record of success in high-profile cases. He was a Prosecutor and community leader for decades.
Arthur Busch grew up in rust belt Flint, Michigan, just three blocks from the former General Motor's Fisher Body Plant #1. The auto factory was the site of the historic sitdown strike that gave birth to the United Automobile Workers Union.
Mr. Busch holds a BA in Urban Public Policy, and a Masters's Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University as well as a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. He attended Flint Public Schools.