Home Editorial Activities Stories Links
  Saving Lives Feature Stories Having Fun Culture Conflict    
  Kiddy Car Airlift Orphanages Adopting Children Help from Home    


Marine Plays Santa To 5-Year-Old Waif

Oct. 18,1950

S/Sgt. Emil M. Shutak

1ST MARINE DIV—The sisters at Inchon’s Star of the Sea Orphanage in Korea may find it difficult to convince “Peanuts” that Sept. 15 isn’t Christmas, and Santa Claus isn’t a member of the 1st Marines. Each year on that date, Peanuts, a five-year-old war orphan will be showered with gifts from the company of Marines who befriended him shortly after they landed at Inchon.

Battering their way through Inchon the company gained the high ground overlooking the small village of Tap Tong, just outside Seoul. After a night of watchful rest, the Leathernecks broke out the morning’s ration and as PFC Luke Trosclair, Lake Charles, La., ate his can of cold beans, a bedraggled boy climbed into his foxhole, removed a small plastic spoon from his pocket, wiped it clean and joined in the feast. That was how Peanuts joined the company.

With the liberation of Seoul, however, the unit’s mission in the Inchon area was finished and it was ordered back to Inchon to await embarkation on its ship. Some of the Leathernecks wanted to smuggle Peanuts aboard ship, but were over-ruled by others who held the boy’s future would be too complicated by the action.

So, with the aid of the chaplain, the boy was placed in the Star of the Sea Orphanage and the hat was passed among the men to pay for his room and board. Since pay days are rare in combat, the guys had only a little cash, and even the beer kitty went into “Peanuts’ dowry.”

But while most Marines will remember Sept. 15 as the day the corps hit Inchon, the men of this company will each year dig into their pockets so Peanuts gets his Christmas in September.

Home  |  Editorial  |  Activities  |  Stories  |  Links