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
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