A group of U.S. soldiers in Korea are working
to give an American Christmas to Korean orphans.
The soldiers are members of the
326th Communication Reconnaissance Company located near Seoul. The
men first became interested in the children when the fighting in Korea
was at its worst.
Early in the winter of 1951 the troops
found many children who had no homes or parents. Veterans of the company
tell how little boys and girls came to the post begging for a bit of
food. Some of them had been on the road for many months, having lost
their parents in the evacuations of the area around Seoul during the
early part of the war.
Corporal George Drake, of Manasquan, N.J.
tells how one night he was called to a barbed wire fence to the rear
of the company area to investigate a crying child. It turned out to
be a small girl, nine or ten years old. "Cry she would, but talk
she would not," recalls Drake. One of the company houseboys said
the little girl had been sitting on that spot since early morning.
In mumbled Korean she told the houseboy she was an orphan and needed
It was later learned that she had been
living with a brother near an army post. When the army unit moved
the boy, who had worked as a houseboy, found it hard to find enough
for the two of them to eat. The little girl told how each day he would
go to look for food, and then one evening he didn't come back. When
hunger got the best of her, the little tot "hit the road".
To make a home for this little girl and
many more like her the men founded an orphanage in an abandoned building
near the company motor pool. The makeshift orphanage grew until 54
children were under its patched roof. But the men found it difficult
to give the close supervision needed to bring these children up in the
manner they desired. Competent supervisors were not to be found. At
that time Dr. George Rue, Director of the Seoul Sanitarium and Hospital
informed the men that he was willing to accept their charges and add
them to his flock of over 200 children ranging in age from a few days
old to sixteen years old.
Since then the soldiers of the 326th Comm
Recon Co have maintained their aid of these children, turning over their
monthly pay-day donations and all food and clothing received from the
United States to Dr. Rue.
Thus far they have received several hundred
parcels of food, clothing, toys and other items from people in the United
Early this year the United Nations
Civil Assistance Command allocated funds for the construction of a new
school at the orphanage. While the school was in the blueprint state,
men of the 326th began "Project Schoolroom". Over 500 letters
were sent to people in the U.S. requesting aid for the new school in
the form of paper, pencils, books, crayons, etc. Meanwhile a number
of men in the company started giving English lessons to the older children.
The men are now widening their appeal for
aid for their wards. They are now not only trying to aid the 54 children
turned over to Dr. Rue, but also the 250 children now housed in this
orphanage. Winter is coming and over in Korea it gets mighty cold.
Clothing is needed. A Christmas party is planned and toys are needed.
There is always a constant need for powdered milk for the day-old infants
left deserted at the orphanage. Powdered foods of all types are needed
to supplement the rice ration received from UNCACK. Financial assistance
is needed to purchase desks for the school, books locally printed and
for the innumerable odds and ends that become necessary.
All packages and inquiries can best be
sent to "Commanding Officer, 326th Comm Recon Co., APO 301, c/o
Postmaster, San Francisco, California" and marked "For Orphanage."
Packages take about six weeks to reach this unit from the United States.
This project is not an official project of the United
States Army, but rather is sponsored by the men of this company with
the Company Commander's permission.
Printed ca. Nov. 1952 on ditto machine.
Distributed to men in the company to send to home-town