Pacific Stars and Stripes,
Oct. 30, 1950
By Cpl. Peter Steele Bixby
A FIFTH AF BASE IN KOREA- "My
name Sambo Pribbenow," the little Korean boy proudly proclaims.
Actually, his name is So Do Hong. But if plans of
a Fifth Air Force provost sergeant work out, it will be Pribbenow soon.
M/Sgt. Ivan R. Pribbenow of Denver, Colo., has already
instigated legal action to adopt the eight-year-old tot, whose parents
were killed in the fiery storm near Taejon early in July.
Pribbenow ran across the youngster late in August
when he was an air policeman with the 6132nd Tactical Control Group
Many Korean children played in the dust across the
road from the group headquarters. But of all of them, one particularly
mischievous urchin stood out and was most popular among the APs.
Barefooted, and clad in a dirty sweater that didn't
quite meet his short pants, he would dash up and nip the Airmen on the
legs with his small, but sharp fingernails.
Then he'd scamper off to some nearby bushes and
hide from searching airmen. When the APs gave up their hunt, he'd return
and tease them some more.
When Pribbenow was transferred to the 6149th, "Sambo,"
as he was nicknamed by affectionate GIs, went with him.
The 34-year-old sergeant soon found out that Sambo
was quite talented. He could sketch portraits, juggle, sew, sing, and
was quick to learn anything.
"He's got so much common sense,"
Sergeant Pribbenow said, shaking his head in false dejection, "that
it sometimes embarrasses me."
Because of his popularity, Sambo is being spoiled,
but he respects the word of the "Number One Sargy," as he calls Pribbenow.
He also respects rank-and takes orders like a good soldier, and salutes
all officers. He was recently promoted, on official orders, to the grade
of corporal (honorary).
He has his regular duties, like checking the length
of the chow line every meal, getting coffee for the sergeant, mending
clothes, etc. For all the boy's mischievous ways, Sergeant Pribbenow
thinks the world of Sambo.
The World War II veteran of Okinawa and Leyte said:
"He may have some bad points, but he's smart as any 13-year-old in the
States and has plenty of spirit.
"Anyway, I think he is swell,
and so will Mrs. Pribbenow when she meets him," he added.