Pat Palazzolo’s story: “I heard about the landing of a plane full of babies, and I was intrigued. That night I drove to Oakland airport and parked along a chain link fence next to the World Airways hangar. I climbed up on the top of my car and, camera in hand, waited for the arriving aircraft.
Crowds began to appear. TV crews and throngs of reporters and dignitaries assembled near the anticipated parking spot. Soon the high pitched whine of the jet's engines could be heard as the red, white and gold colored DC-8 emerged from the darkness at the far side of the hangar, turned toward us and then inched slowly into its parking spot. The bright lights lit up the side of the airplane revealing the faces of small children crowded together peering through the windows. Then the engines slowly became silent, as did the crowd.
When the stairs were rolled up to the front door, officials climbed up, opened the door and stepped inside. Later we would be told they were astonished to see a plane load of children from babies to 12 year olds sitting and laying on mats and flattened cardboard boxes. There were no seats.
Finally the children were taken down the stairs one by one, and last the crew came down to a welcome of applause.
I had heard that volunteers were needed to care for the children in the hangar during the night. Somehow I ended up working in a four hour shift from midnight until 4AM.”