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Pacific Stars & Stripes, Dec. 5, 1953

Army Units Continue To Clear Pusan; Erect More Tents

PUSAN, Korea, Dec. 5- U.S. and ROK Army units worked rapidly today to clear a section of Pusan's charred area while members of the 24th Div. erected tents to house homeless Korean victims of the massive fire.

Engineer units from the 24th, Korean Base Section and ROK Army brought in heavy equipment and are working together to clear the rubbled area. Twenty-three acres of land had been cleared as of yesterday. Army officials reported, and some 2,000 cubic yards or debris has been hauled away to make room for construction of a tent city.

Brig. Gen Richard S. Whitcomb, commanding general of KBS, said plans for the first tent city called for completion by Dec. 9. He said plans for another tent refuge are tentatively set for Dec. 10.

Plans for the demolition and clearing of the burned-out Korean National Railroad Hotel, formerly the headquarters of KBS, were awaiting approval by the city real estate office, Whitcomb said.

"Under the armed forces assistance to Korea program," the KBS commander said, "we are giving 23,100 rations daily to supplement the KCAC grains."

More than 40,000 pounds of food daily, plus blankets, heaters, canvas and tents are among the issues from the 55th Base Depot for relief use, the Army announced. Daily issue includes 30,000 pounds of grains, half of which is rice and the other consisting of legumes.

While engineers are clearing the disaster area, U.S. soldiers are busily building tent frames over which tents will be erected for housing more than 11,000 of Pusan's 40,000 homeless fire victims. The tent frames are being rushed in one-piece units to the area where tents are to be set up.

Reconstruction of the Kyung Nam Orphanage took high priority in the relief assistance and Army authorities reported yesterday that frames for two buildings of the six-unit orphan village have been completed.

Whitcomb declared that "there is no reason that a single victim of the fire is without food, shelter and medical attention."

"United Nations troops and agency shave joined with the city and provincial government to get all fire refugees under shelter," Whitcomb said.


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