New York Times, 20 Dec. 1950
Orphans Found by Soldiers Taken to Secret Island by
SEOUL, Korea, Dec. 20 (AP)- Nearly 1,000 big-eyed
little Korean street orphans were airlifted to an island sanctuary off
South Korea today.
Fifteen twin-engine United States transport planes
landed at nearby Kimbo airbase to fly the war waifs out of the combat
Truck after truck rolled up loaded with children
and backed up to the open plane doors. There were 964 in all, ranging
in age from 6 months to 9 years. Most had been saved from gutter death
by kind-hearted United States soldiers who had found them lying abandoned
in the streets of Seoul.
The soldiers had taken them to a child welfare center
established by LT. Col R. L. Blaisdell of Highfield, MN, chaplain of
the 5th Airforce.
Scores of small pilgrims of distress where covered
with sores and their bodies' will still shrunken from starvation. Some
gestured at their mouths to show their hunger and mumbled "chop
chop." The planes carried a fifteen-day supply of rations, but
the children could not be fed until they were aloft.
"A hundred and two of them are ill-and twenty-four
just got out of the hospital," said Chaplain among them - everything
from scabies to whooping cough and tuberculosis."
Eighty Korean women attendants accompanied the children
and each plane carried a trained United States evacuation nurse. LT
Grace Chicken, of Buffalo, MO volunteered to make the flight on her
Capt. Mary Wilfong of Selma, AL, who had evacuated
many wounded troops, watched as one sick child was lifted into the plane.
"Pitiful-they're so pitiful," she said.
"It's even worse than seeing our own wounded men."
An emaciated small boy called down hopefully to Lt
Jane Murphy of Milton, PA: "Hello, hello. You want good houseboy?"
Lt Murphy smiled up at him and then turned her face away.
"It makes me want to cry," she said.
Most of the orphans were too weak to show much interest
in their plane ride. Some cried dully, their thin wails all but lost
in the noise of backing trucks. They shivered in thin worn clothing
as volunteer United States airmen gently lifted them bodily from truck
to plane. The orphans were loaded seventy to a plane.