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Stars and Stripes, 11 Dec. 1966

Pvt. John C. Bogue (right) talks with Lt. Col. Robert D. Strock, commanding officer of the 304th Sig. Bn., which in 1958 had "adopted" him as an orphaned 12 year old.  He is now a member of the unit.  (USA)

Ex-ROK Orphan 'Back Home' As Member of 304th Sig. Bn.

By SP5 Russ Havourd

S&S Korea Bureau

SEOUL - Pvt. John C. Bogue left home in the States several days ago and arrived here at the home he left eight years ago to go home.  Ordinarily, that would be a confusing situation for anyone, but it's not so in the case of Bogue, who can call two places home.

A native of the Republic of Korea, Bogue (then named Young Kui Choo) was taken in as a 12 year old orphan by the 304th Sig. Bn. Hq. here in 1958 before being "adopted" by the unit.  Later that year he was notified that PFC of the 304th had arranged for his parents to adopt him.  John left his first "home," the 304th, to go to the States to his new home with the Bogue family.  Now, eight years later, he has returned to the unit, as a soldier in the U.S, Army.

"Norris went about the adoption without my knowing it," John said.  "He didn't want me to be disappointed if his parents were unable to adopt me.  Then it came through, I had only a week's notice . . .they took me by surprise.  All I did was take shots and sign papers, and I was on my way to the States."

Bogue, speaking nearly flawless English, recounted how startled he was on first sighting San Francisco.  "When I left here all the lights in Seoul were out every night; it was all dark except for a few main streets.  When I saw San Francisco, I couldn't believe it . . . all the lights were on.  I'd never seen anything like it before."

John went through school in the States and was in his first year of college when the draft called him at the age of 20.  While at the U.S. Army  Signal School at Fort Gordon, Fa., he met several NCOs whom he had known back at the 304th eight years earlier.

"While I was there I had an interview with a newspaperman and I told them how I'd like to be assigned back to my old '(. . ?. . ) the 304th Sig. Bn., when I completed the course.  Somehow the aricle got into the Seoul paper and Col. Robert D. Strock (a battalion commander) wrote me a letter."

"From there it was on a matter of time until I was back with the 304th," he said.  John got a mild jolt on (. . ?. . ) Seoul and the headquarters compound after his long absence.

"When I left I was only (. . ?. . )9-inches tall and weighed (. . ?. . ) pounds.  When I came back. . . days ago, I pictured building things to be much larger than they were.  It all seems different from the way I remembered, but it really isn't."

For at least a year, John. .

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