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Feb. 17, 1965

Col. George A. Bieri (left), U.S. Eighth Army Provost Marshal, greets Peter David Orr during his visit to EUSA Hq.  (S&S)

Ex-Waif Renews Bond With 519th

By SP5 Walt Reynolds, S&S Korea Bureau

SEOUL- It is a long haul from the rubble-strewn streets of Chin-nampo, North Korea, to the United States and a college education and a job with the U.S. Peace Corps.  Peter David Orr, former Korean waif, has bridged the gap in giant strides.

Orr returned to Korea last week for a brief visit, his first in eight years.  It was arranged by the American Korean Foundation.  He is en route to the University of Wisconsin where he will aid Peace Corps trainees as well as enroll as a full time law student. 

All ties with his real family and previous identity ended in Chin-nampo in 1950 when the U.N. Forces were withdrawing southward under pressure of the Chinese communist offensive.  Orr's family vanished and he was left alone.  Men of the U.S. Army's 519th Military Police Bn. came along and rescued the waif.  He became their mascot and moved with them to Wonju in 1953.  From there he went to the States in 1957 as the adopted son of the Norman Orr family in Eugene, Ore.

Following high school and graduation from the University of Oregon came the assignment with the Peace Corps in Pakistan.  Orr volunteered for the Peace Corps because of what he describes as "my own desire to be patriotic to the ideals of my country, America, by helping others."

Orr has visited Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Malaysia and Japan since leaving Korea.  He is pridefully aware of the progress the ROK has made in recent years.  Orr said he does not believe the ROK has adopted absolute Western ways since World War II.  "It appears that Korea is making a successful blend of the old and the new so that only the best of each is retained," he said.

Orr on Monday visited Col. George A. Bieri, the Eighth Army provost marshal.  Bieri was commander of the 519th Military Police Bns. from August 1953 to November 1953.  They met in Bieri's office to reminisce.  After a handshake and a warm "Hi, Pete," Bieri said, with pride, "Peter has grown five or six inches taller and his face has filled out a little but he's still the same person I knew before."


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