Pacific Stars and Stripes,
Orinda, CA (INS)- A 13-year
old Korean war orphan was on his way to America Thursday in fulfillment
of a promise given him on a battlefield by his "buddy" before the
soldier died in action. And the promise could never have been kept
but for the perseverance of the soldier's parents in a search for
the orphaned youth.
A YEAR AGO PFC Victor Beauchamp, Jr. found Kim
Yoon Jeon, cold and hungry, near an American machine gun outpost on
the Korean front.
The youngster, whose father and mother were killed
in the first Red attack on Seoul, became an interpreter and stretcher
bearer for Beauchamp's outfit.
Frequently Kim was under fire with his 22-year
old American "pal."
ONE DAY BEAUCHAMP told the boy that "when all
this is over I'm going to take you back to America with me." And the
soldier wrote to his parents, Victor and Julia Beauchamp of Orinda,
California, about Kim, saying: "If anything happens to me, please
arrange for Kim to come to America and live in our home."
Then, last August, PFC Beauchamp was killed in
a patrol action. The grieving Kim disappeared.
MR. AND MRS. Beauchamp wrote their son's friends
in his company, pleading with them do everything possible to locate
Kim. One of those friends, PFC Jack Holt of Berkeley, California,
finally found the young Korean by the sheerest chance.
After months of red tape, the Beauchamps were
notified Thursday that Kim is being flown to America to join them
in their Orinda home.
"It will be a sort of memorial
to our son," said Mrs. Beauchamp. "I hope Kim will be happy with us...
and I know Vic would have been glad."