Watch David’s Presentation

On Oct. 18, 2013, Koren presented at Asilomar, Calif., the saga of how he and colleagues kept airworthy aging civilian propeller planes (such as DC-6s and DC-7s) on their nightly sorties from the Portuguese colonial island of Sao Tome to a converted makeshift Biafran highway airstrip regularly attacked by then-dominant Nigerian military forces. His own personal audio recordings, made at the time of these events, give a dramatic glimpse of how things unfolded during the late 1960s.

Watch the video

Koren addresses how the airlift, while ultimately unsuccessful in securing a free Biafra, offered hope of survival for a new generation, including some whose children started new lives in the United States. His talk seeks to inspire contemporary Peace Corps volunteers to contemplate their own legacies a half century after their service and a lifetime of pursuing careers.

Koren has documented his Peace Corps and Biafran airlift experiences in a memoir, “Far Away in the Sky” (ISBN1467996149-2011). Friends of Nigeria seeks to support activities in Nigeria and among the Nigerian diaspora in the United States. Most of its current members are former U.S. Peace Corps volunteers.

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