Approximately 150 copies of this letter
along with two photographs were sent to persons who had sent packages
to the company for the orphanage or who had written saying a package was
on the way. I sent the original letter and the negatives to my mother,
Ann E. Drake in Manasquan, NJ and she did the work getting the letters
printed, photos attached, and mailed.
326 Communication Reconnaissance Company
APO 301, c/o Postmaster, San Francisco, Calif.
The party is over, the floor is swept, the chairs
are straightened, and the children have all returned home. The second
annual Christmas party for the orphans of Manassas Manor is now a thing
of the past. The party is over but the memory of it will live with
these children for a long time. As "gratitude is the memory of
the heart" it is there that these children will remember you.
Over 350 individually wrapped presents were distributed
to the 50 children. Most of these presents were sent from you who responded
so generously to our request for aid. Besides these gifts for the children
a truckload of clothes was taken to the Seoul Sanatorium and Hospital
where the children are now located. Letters received indicate only
a half of the goods have arrived with the rest still on the way.
The party is something that will never be forgotten.
Once the children arrived at the Quonset hut being used for the party
they were each given a cup of candy. One by one they were led up to
Santa, drafted into the army for this occasion. As each child came
forward he or she would keep their eyes downcast. They would stop in
front of Santa, make a deep bow, accept the gifts, still without looking
up at Santa, thank him in Korean and then retreat to their places quickly.
The look of utter joy and amazement on the faces
of the children was well worth the work and effort put forth by the
people in the United States who sent aid for this purpose and the time
that we here in Korea spent toward this end.
I am unable to tell more of the party except that
it was sheer confusion from there on in. The children were wild with
joy and were running in mad circles showing everyone what they had received.
Besides what was sent from the States each boy had received from the
men of the company a pair of trousers, a sweater and a pair of gloves,
and each girl received a skirt, sweater and gloves. They all tried
on their new clothes right then and there by forcing then on over the
rest of their clothing. What a sight!
In my initial letter I told of the orphanage being
only a number of yards from the company area. The members of the orphanage
committee found that that site was not very good for the children, as
the sanitary facilities were not the best and suitable overhead personnel
was impossible to find. We checked with Mrs. Rue and Miss Irene Robson
at the Seoul Sanatorium and Hospital Orphanage and asked them if they
would be able to take care of our charges in their place. They agreed.
Moving day was something to see! The children were
pent up with excitement. We loaded one 2-1/2 ton truck with the children
and he other with all the moveable equipment in the buildings. I previously
told you there were 55 children. Moving day there were only 50 to be
move! No one knows what happened to the other five!
The new home for the children is the Seventh Day
Adventist Medical Mission, Seoul Sanatorium and Hospital Orphanage.
Dr. Rue, his wife, and Miss Irene Robson are the American personnel
at the place. The establishment is self-supporting. The orphanage
part of the project is something taken up by the Rues and Miss Robson
and is supported solely through donations of people in the United States
like yourselves and the GIs in Korea interested in the welfare of these
The day we arrived with the children three of them
were admitted immediately to the hospital with various diseases. Thirty
percent of the total number of children there have TB! The next time
we saw the children they were clean---something not quite possible under
former conditions! They live in clean, even though crowded concrete
buildings. The smaller children live in a building near the hospital
while the older children have been moved to a group of buildings about
a mile from the hospital itself. There they go to school. The boys
and girls carried bricks to help repair the bombed-out building in which
Now, instead of 50 charges, we have 250. We of the
326th Comm. Recon. Co. are going to help the Rues and Miss Robson raise
these children to be a credit to their country and an everlasting friend
of the U.S. Won't you also help us? Still in great need are socks,
shoes, underwear, dried cereals, dried milk, and outing flannel (or
other heavy cloth). A letter to Mrs. George Rue, S.D.A. Mission, APO
72, c/o Postmaster, San Francisco or to me will bring a more detailed
listing of items most desperately needed by the orphanage. If packages
are sent it is best that they be sent through me, as the Rue's APO privilege
is only for 1st class letters. Packages can be sent directly through
international mail. Address: Seoul Sanatorium and Hospital, Box 43,
My heartfelt thanks to all of you on behalf of the
children and the men of my company.
George F. Drake