Pacific Stars and Stripes,
Sept. 23, 1952
By Bill Purdom
SEOUL (UP)- Ten-year old orphan
Rhee Song Wo started a long journey to a new home in America Friday
by special permission of President Truman and Syngman Rhee.
The wide eyed, little Korean boy, dressed in a
baseball cap, blue jeans and a T-shirt, began his trip to Pusan where
he was to leave on a Northwest Airlines place for San Francisco.
Rhee will be met at the airport in San Francisco
by the family that adopted him, Capt. and Mrs. Sylvester W. Booker
of Fort Benning, Ga., who fought for 18 months through every kind
of red tape to bring the child to a new home.
"I'm not afraid," Rhee
said as he departed. "I'm not afraid of anything except little girls.
When I'm big I'll be afraid of big girls."
His story began 18 months ago when Rhee was brought
into the medical company of the 159th Field Artillery Battalion at
Kimchon with a badly cut hand.
Booker, whose home is now at the 541st Medical
Holding Company at Fort Benning, treated the boy's injury and during
that meeting a great affection sprang up between the two.
When Booker was sent home he continued his efforts
to adopt Rhee and bring him to the United States.
Finally, Booker got special permission from President
Syngman Rhee for the boy to leave.
Then a bill was signed by President Truman setting
aside the immigration law that controls entry of Orientals. Little
Rhee is now considered by act of Congress a naturalized alien child
of Mr. and Mrs. Booker.
Rhee doesn't know what happened to his own father
and mother. They just disappeared when the Communists took Seoul.
Rhee wandered until he met Booker. Working as an interpreter for the
troops of the 159th, Rhee has managed to earn $100 which he is taking
with him. The Bookers will drive him from California to their Fort
Benning house which, Rhee said, "I will like very much."
HAPPY DEPARTURE-Rhee Song Wo shakes hands with
Capt. Stanley D. Waterman, Glen Cove, N.Y., prior to departing for
a ship which will take him to his new home in the U.S. and his new
parents, Capt. and Mrs. Sylvester Booker at Fort Benning, Ga. (UP