Press Release

Flying the Freedom Birds: Airlines and the Vietnam War

09/28/2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
CONTACT: Charles Schuler  
Director of Communications  
San Francisco International Airport 
(650) 821-5031 
Charles.Schuler@flysfo.com

 

Flying the Freedom Birds: Airlines and the Vietnam War

New exhibition based on extensive interviews provides insight into the experience of serving aboard the commercial airliners that flew thousands of troops to and from Vietnam.

SAN FRANCISCO— Freedom Bird. For the Vietnam generation of U.S. military veterans, this phrase meant only one thing; the aircraft that brought them home at the end of their tours. However, these were not military aircraft, but commercial airliners under contract by the U.S. Air Force Military Airlift Command (MAC) and served by civilian crews and flight attendants. The airliners were not just used to bring the soldiers home, but to fly them into the war zone as well. During the course of the war, thousands of flights crisscrossed the Pacific Ocean. For military personnel, it was a deeply emotional journey in both directions.

 

These flights were also a powerful and moving experience for a generation of young women who served aboard these aircraft as flight attendants. These women allayed the fears of soldiers heading to war and offered support and reassurance to those headed home. Although these women were an integral part of the Vietnam War experience, their contributions are largely unknown outside of the veteran community. This exhibition, based on extensive interviews with the key participants of the airlift operations, provides insight into their experiences serving aboard the Freedom Birds.

 

Visit sfomuseum.org/exhibitions/flying-freedom-birds for more information.
@SFOMuseum  
#FreedomBird

 

Flying the Freedom Birds: Airlines and the Vietnam War is located pre-security in the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, International Terminal, Departures Level, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is accessible to the public from September 28, 2019, to June 21, 2020.

 

About SFO Museum

Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features twenty-five galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit www.sfomuseum.org. Follow us on www.facebook.com/SFOMuseum, www.twitter.com/SFOMuseum, or www.instagram.com/SFOMuseum.

 

About San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 50 international cities on 45 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 86 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines.  SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.  For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow us on www.twitter.com/flysfo and  www.facebook.com/flysfo.