Veterans

July 12, 2013

Korean War veteran tells story of littlest survivors

Tags:
Walter T. Ham IV
Bellingham, Wash.

korean-vets1
The Korean War veteran who established the Korean War Children’s Memorial in Washington state will return to South Korea this July.

Invited to Korea by Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo, George F. Drake, Ph.D., will return with other Korean War veterans for the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice.

While serving as a high-speed radio intercept operator, Drake volunteered to help orphans find homes during the Korean War. The 83-year-old former U.S. Army sergeant served in the 326th Communications Reconnaissance Company in Uijeongbu.

His Korean War experience stayed with him.†More than 10 years ago, following the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, Drake decided the war’s littlest survivors needed to be remembered along with the American service members who helped them.
korean-vets2
Drake launched a campaign to have the Korean War Children’s Memorial built in the park near his house in Bellingham, Wash.

Drake has been back to South Korea five times since the war, and he donated a Korean War Children’s Memorial that stands at Imjingak, just south of the border with North Korea.

The former Bellingham city council member and retired sociology professor has diligently chronicled the efforts of U.S. service members to help orphans in Korea during the brutal three-year war. His journey has taken him from his Washington state home to the archives of Pacific Stars & Stripes in Tokyo, and to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

According to Drake, U.S. service members helped more than 10,000 children and sustained over 53,000 in more than 400 orphanages, many of which they either built or repaired. Drake said U.S. troops also donated more than $2 million from the less than $100 per month that most of them earned, and brought in thousands of tons of aid from the United States for the children and their care givers.
korean-vets3
On July 27, Korean War veterans from across the United States will mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice agreement that brought major combat operations to a halt on the Korean Peninsula.

While the armistice is has never been replaced with a peace treaty, the ceasefire has enabled South Korea’s rise from abject poverty to the world’s 13th largest economy, in 60 years.

Drake said the most rewarding experience of his efforts to tell the story of Korean War orphans was a letter from one of the children he helped at an orphanage named Manassas Manor after company commander Capt. John Consolvo’s hometown in Virginia.

“My name is Eddie Cho and I am one of your Manassas orphans,” Cho wrote to Drake. “I was about four years old when the Korean War broke out. I remember my father being taken captive by the North Koreans and my mother being so sick and eventually dying of the black plague while trying to escape, on foot, from Seoul.”

“I have often thought of the American Soldiers from the 326th Communication Reconnaissance Company who took care of us at the Manassas Manor orphanage,” wrote Cho. “I had always wished that I could have known their names and addresses so that I could have expressed my gratefulness.”

“So many wonderful memories,” Cho wrote, “We were kings of the world! You included us in each and every recreational activity, such as games and movies, with the spare time you had. I cherish and thank you for those precious memories you provided for us at the Manassas orphanage.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>