Home Editorial Activities Stories Links
  Saving Lives Feature Stories Having Fun Culture Conflict    
  Kiddy Car Airlift Orphanages Adopting Children Help from Home    


Pacific Stars and Stripes, Dec. 1950

Fifth Airmen Adopt Whole Orphanage

GI's Touched By Plight of Kids Left Homeless in Wake of Reds

ADVANCED HQ, FIFTH AF IN KOREA- The American servicemen's love for children has become almost legendary in foreign lands.

From a pat on the head and a stick of chewing gum to good food, clothes and a warm bed, soldiers and airmen have always befriended little children.

Here in Korea their work is cut out for them. Few can remain untouched at the sight of a homeless and hungry orphan. Countless war orphans in Korea have been "adopted" by the men.

Moved by the sight of dirty and ragged little boys and girls wandering the streets, men of Fifth Air Force headquarters took them under their wings. Until such time as a home could be found for them the children ate in the mess halls and slept in the barracks or tents.

Now, under the supervision of Lt. Col. Russell Blaisdell, air chaplain for Fifth Air Force in Korea, orphans in the care of these airmen are being placed in homes and with families who will provide for them and educate them.

Recently a group of these children was taken to the Myung Chin Su Orphans' Home of Seoul and turned over to the "father" of the orphanage, Hoh Chun Mahn, a graying, elderly Korean who has devoted his life to social work.

Hoh has his problems, outstanding of which is the scarcity of food.

"We live from day to day," he said, "And each night I pray that there will be food for the children."

Hoh's prayers were answered when the Fifth Air Force heard of his plight and began to sponsor the home. Money, food and clothing were given by officers and airmen in and around Seoul.

The little waifs how had been "adopted" by airmen were reluctant to leave their new found friends when taken to the orphanage and the parting was just a little tearful. But before the man left, their charges were laughing and playing with other orphans in the yard. Testimony of the children's love for Hoh Chun Mahn came when U.S. Marines, advancing through Seoul, brought some 40 orphans to Hoh. The children had joined in Leathernecks in the streets, asking to be returned to their "home" from which they had been taken by Communist troops.

Some of Hoh's older charges have joined the army of the Republic of Korea to fight for their homeland. Others are working to support the orphanage. 





Home  |  Editorial  |  Activities  |  Stories  |  Links