The creation of orphanages in Korea did not begin with the Korean War. Some existed even at the turn of the century. For its historical value we present herewith the information we gathered on those orphanages that existed prior to 1950. Most of these survived the war with help from American servicemen and women.
This is the period that saw a tremendous growth in the number of orphanages. Estimates were that over 100,000 homeless and parentless children were left in the war's wake. By the end of 1954 there were over 400 registered orphanages in the Republic of Korea, almost all of them sustained in great part by donations from US Armed Forces personnel. During 1954 the orphanage population was still growing by over one thousand children a month as children came in off the streets.
This orphanage, founded to receive the children rescued in the Kiddy Car Airlift, was the largest orphanage in Korea at this time and became well known in Korea and the United States due to the on-going support of Col. Dean Hess, USAF.
Manassas Manor is the name of the small orphanage created by the men of the 326th Communications Reconnaissance Company. Here is a story of the creation, development and finally the closing of the orphanage when the children were moved to the Seoul Sanitarium and Hospital Orphanage. It provides a close look at how orphanages were created to meet a dire need and how they became institutionalized.
This orphanage was one element in the Seventh Day Adventist compound located to the east of Seoul. Having the hospital and the T.B. Sanitarium as part of the same complex was extremely beneficial to the well being of the children as they received medical care far better than most every other orphanage in Korea at the time. About 50 children were moved here when the orphanage run by the soldiers of the 326th Communication Reconnaissance Company closed their little orphanage called Manassas Manor. While this orphanage existed over 1,000 children, at one time or another, called it "home".
This organization, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, was one of the major entities working with the creation and sustenance of orphanages in Korea from the beginning of the war. By 1954 they were helping support children in over 100 orphanages.
While the activities of the Holt family that began the large scale adoption of orphans from Korea began after the Korean War ended we include here a few items from their early years that we have come across in our research.
The involvements of US armed forces with the orphans and orphanages did not end with the end of the war and, in fact, continues to this day. Here we present some material telling of this continuing concern with the children of Korea by US Forces Korea.
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