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Orphanage Founder Arrives to Adopt Girl


On Soon Whang and Penny Defore greet the famed pilot.

SEOUL-  Col. Dean E. Hess, a second father to hundreds of Korean orphans, arrived at Seoul City Airport Monday to complete final steps toward adopting a small Korean girl. 

Hess was greeted by On Soon Whang, director of an orphans' home which the American founded; Maj. Gen. S. W. Chang, vice chief of staff, Republic of Korea air force, and other civic leaders. 

Hess, a famed fighter pilot in the Korean War, is head of the U.S. Air Force Office of Information in Hollywood. 

Among the group at the airport was Penny Defore, daughter of movie and television actor Don Defore.  Miss Defore recently joined the staff at the Hess orphanage. 

During a brief interview, Hess, a former clergyman and a veteran of many combat mission, said he was scared. 

"I'm going to meet my daughter for the first time, and I'm actually frightened," he confided. 

He was referring to 6-year-old Mee Wha, whom he came here to adopt.  He has chosen Marilyn K. Hess for her adopted name. 

Monday he revisited the orphanage he founded 10 years ago to help children who were victims of the Korean War.  There he met his daughter-to-be. 

Hess was to receive the ROK Order of Cultural Merit award Tuesday from President Posun Yun at Kyungmudai, the presidential mansion. 

Tuesday afternoon he was to be honored at a celebration in the Bando Hotel by members of the Social Workers of Korea. 

Hess was to leave Seoul Tuesday afternoon to return to Osan AB.  He will stop over in Tokyo before returning to California. 

Korea Bureau, By PFC John Hernandez 







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