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Pacific Stars and Stripes, Oct. 30, 1950

No. 1 Sargy, Sambo Plan Life Together

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 outside Pusan.

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.




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