LITTLE CHIEF-Chun Nam Park sits in the cab of a
fire truck as he talks with his future father, Olen M. Newcombe, Camp
Page fire chief. The 13 year old boy, whose parents were killed by
the North Koreans in 1950, is to go to Los Angeles to live with Newcombe
and his wife when his adoption papers are approved. (S&S Photo)
Jan. 20, 1960
Korean Boy Gets Break
CHUNCHON, Korea-Life held little hope for 3 year
old Chun Nam Park in 1950. The communists had destroyed his home
and killed his parents. Now Chun is a 13 year old with a bright future.
He is to be the adopted son of an American couple, Mr. and Mrs. Olen
M. Newcombe of Los Angeles. Newcombe is chief of the Camp Page Fire
Department near here.
A Republic of Korea Marine lieutenant found Chun
crying amid what was left of his family home in Hungnam City, Ham
Kyung Namdo, North Korea, 10 years ago. The officer took the child
to Pusan. The boy lived there until 1957 when employees of the Vinnell
Corp. power plant at Camp St. Barbara adopted him as their mascot.
WHEN THE PLANT manager moved to Chunchon last June,
Chun went along with him. There he met Newcombe, and they took an
instant liking to each other. Newcombe wrote to his wife about the
youngster. She saw him for the first time Thanksgiving when she paid
a surprise visit to her husband on their 31st wedding anniversary.
Chun visited Mrs. Newcombe at Seoul's Bando Hotel
where she lived during her three day stay in Korea. "It was a case
of love at first sight," says Newcombe. "I saw Mrs. Newcombe and
I loved her very much," says Chun, who has been nicknamed "The Little
Chief" by the men at Camp Page.
HE SAYS HE wants to go to the United States. "My
father says he is going to send me to college and that makes me very
happy." Asked what he plans to do when he finishes college, Chun
replied, "I want to be a lawyer and go back to Korea to help my people."
Chun, now 13, speaks English well. Hew has taken
lessons from Kil Hwan Chang, a schoolteacher who instructs Korean
employees of the Camp Page fire department.
NEWCOMBE, who has been in Korea one year, is retired
from the Los Angeles fire department. He has been a fireman since
1924. He and his wife have one other child-a married daughter who
has three children. The fire chief is working on adoption papers
for Chun. He says "I want to take him home with me on my vacation
in June. If I don't. . . I might as well not go. My wife would never
give me a minute's rest."
They plan to name the youngster Norm after he is