Note from Deborah Marshall on 17tth April 2018
Here are the details of dad’s story, as promised. I have attached a word document with the outline story, as well as several jpeg attachments from a Saga Magazine article that was run some twenty years ago.
Each time I read this story, my eyes fill with tears of pride at what these young sailors did so graciously for these little children. My dream and focus is to find any of them that are still living. Particularly Soon-Ok Chang, because she loves those sailors as though they are all her fathers. I feel so proud whenever I read this, and for me, if my dad is her father in her eyes then it makes her my sister in mine.
My dad and his shipmates were on a two year active service mission in South Korea, and I am advised that one day in the harsh winter of 1951, while they were patrolling numerous islands off the north shore, a landing party were sent ashore to Paeng Young Do. There, close to a graveyard they discovered a ramshack hut, where 20 or so orphaned children were huddled together trying to keep warm from the harshest winter the country had ever known. (Parts of the sea had frozen over. There were young babies as well as children in their early teens. They were hungry and thin, and a couple of them were obviously unwell. There was little for them to eat, and so these young sailors (all around 20-25) sent word to the ship to bring gifts of food and clothes.
The ship provided dozens of boxes of items to feed them and keep them warm with new clothing. Of course the clothes were far too big for them because all the sailors had to offer was from their own attire!
In 2000, fifty years after the invasion, Saga magazine ran an article about this story, and were able to locate two of the orphans (by now around fifty years old) and brought them to London to reunite with those kind men who had shown them unconditional love all those years before.
I would particularly like to trace these two people (or any others who are still living) to unite with them also. The man’s name is Kwang-Il Park, and the woman Soon-Ok Chang said at the reunion that she looked upon those sailors as her fathers, because they had treated her like a father. This being the case, I want to acknowledge her as my sister, so I really want to find her, or any of her family!