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 September 15, 2014

News: Navy identifies pilot presumed dead in crash - A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two fighter jets crashed in the far western Pacific Ocean has been identified.   Business: Boeing eyes 737-700 solution for new JSTARS - Boeing is officially planning a variant of its 737-700 commercial jetliner as a competitor for the Air Force’s...
 
 

News Briefs September 15, 2014

Australia contributing planes for anti-IS campaign Australia is preparing to contribute 600 troops and up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sept. 14. Abbott said Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Lockheed Martin conducts flight tests of aircraft laser turret for DARPA

AFRL photograph The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory has completed initial flight testing. T...
 

 

Lockheed Martin advances live, virtual, constructive training in flight test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jvXmOW8L3mU Lockheed Martin successfully tested a new solution for integrated live, virtual and constructive training during a flight demonstration at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas. During the flight test, a pilot flying in a live F-16 engaged in a synthetic training exercise with a pilot flying as wing...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover arrives at Martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity n...
 
 

Raytheon begins full rate production on TALON Laser Guided Rockets

Under a $117 million contract awarded to Raytheon, Raytheon Missile Systems has begun production of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. In 2013, the Armed Forces General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates awarded Tawazun a contract to procure the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. “Full rate production of the TALON LGR is a significant milestone for...
 




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>