Dec. 21, 1950
By M/Sgt. R.L. Strawbridge
WITH THE 1ST CAV. DIV. IN KOREA-"Bak,"
a 19-year old South Korean orphaned by war, is destined for a college
education if a group of benevolent Texans have their way about it.
Adopted by the photo section of a 1st Cavalry Division signal
company. Bak Ung Young joined the unit last summer when the company
was in Taegu. SFC Walter R. White of Odessa, Texas, in charge of the
small lab unit says he picked up the lad in Taegu. Bak, a friendly
character, attached himself to White who brought him to the command
post where he first engaged himself as a house-boy. Bak proved intelligent
enough and soon learned to assist White and other lab men in developing
pictures and operating the print dryer. His first time in the darkroom
he was amazed when a supposedly blank piece of paper began to "come
up" and form a picture of a well-known landmark around Taegu. Bak had
seen pictures before but was not acquainted with the process used to
By the time the 1st Cavalry Division left
the Taegu defense perimeter in September for the drive north of Pyongyang,
Bak had proved his worthiness and was allowed to accompany the section.
He could now be trusted to work in the darkroom without fear of ruining
a photo order. When winter came, Bak volunteered to procure wood to
keep the lab and living quarters warm and the lab men contributed a
small amount each payday toward Bak's future. Since Bak was interested
in acquiring an education more than anything else it was agreed by the
men that the accumulating fund would be used for that purpose.
In his letters to his wife, Mrs. Clesta White, in
Odessa, Texas, White told of Bak and what his men were doing to further
his education when the war in Korea was over. Mrs. White, herself a
school teacher, has started a plan of her own and through her interest
in the project, several members of the school have volunteered to help
in the adopted Texan's education. While no contributions have been
made, the idea has snowballed and an entire grade school class has volunteered
to help in the cause.