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Feb. 3, 1951

Yank Pities Orphan, Knows Hungry Look

By S/Sgt. Mike Shutak

Combat Correspondent


WITH 1ST MARINE DIV IN KOREA-PFC Willard E. Gavin, Richland Center, Wis., took pity on the young Korean orphan, and gave him part of his rations-he knew the look-he had been an orphan himself.  That was back when UN forces drove the Communists out of Inchon.  Since then Gavin and Kim have traveled Korea together.  Now Private Gavin and his wife are trying to adopt the boy so he can return with the leatherneck to the U.S. 

Young Kim was smuggled on an LST when the Marines left Inchon.  He rode in Gavin's truck during the landing at Wonsan and journeys to Koto and Hagaru.  On one trip the native orphan was sent back by a jeep to avoid an ambush area ahead.  But the jeep was ambushed and Kim suffered multiple wounds.  He was evacuated to a hospital in South Korea, and didn't see his foster-father for a long time.  Finally when the Marines moved to their rest and training area in the south, the two orphans met again.

Request for adoption was turned down by the U.S. Senate.  Now they have written to the President, and if that won't help they plan to move to Honolulu and raise the Korean lad there. 

When nine-year-old Kim is asked his name and address, he beams, "Me Jimmy Gavin of Wisconsin, U.S.A."




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