When the heavy cruiser St. Paul slid into Inchon harbor the night of Sept. 15 the coast line and shore emplacements had already tasted the lethal power of its guns.
From dawn until late morning of Sept. 15, St. Paul, its sister ship the Rochester and the big Mo had pounded Inchon prior to the landing.
A Royal Welcome
Then the invasion was pulled off and in several days the St. Paul was read to sail again.
But now when the St. Paul pushes into Inchon, past the little Island of Fusshi-To, it gets a royal noisy reception from 45 homeless orphaned waifs, one man and two women on the Island.
The ship’s crew is one, great big, adopted God-father to the children—and the kids are the unofficial wards of the ship’s crew.
Houston Man on Crew
One of the crew is 20-year-old Arthur Rodriguez, son of Mr. And Mrs. Ygnacio Rodriguez, of 17065 Elysian, and his account of the finding of the children was contained in a letter to Mrs. Felix Morales, wife of the owner of the Morales Funeral Home.
“On the island are 45 children,” wrote dark-haired Rodriquez. “They are taken care of by a man and two women, and we found them when we went over to fix a lighthouse.
“The kids range in age from 3 to 11 and they were all cold, hungry and sick.
All Chipped In
“When the crew found out about it, they all chipped in something for the kids—like soap, blankets, candy and some clothing. We could not give them too much in the way of clothes, because ours were too big.
“But the doctor came over, too, and soon the kids that were sick were feeling better. We even made little canvas shoes for them, and we brought our tools over and fixed up a place with an old pot-bellied stove we found.
“Now they’re warm and feeling better, but they still need more things.”
‘Hurts to See Them’
Then young Rodriguez asked for help.
“It really hurts to see those little kids,” he wrote. “and we all hoped none of our kids would ever be like that. That’s why I’m asking you for help.”
“Can you do anything to help these kids? Anything you could send them they would appreciate. We help them as much as we can, but they need more.”
Help on Way
Young Rodriguez may get more help than he bargained for—and his appeal may bloom into a full-fledged, unofficial relief program.
Mrs. Morales is fixing up a basket and is getting her friends to pitch in.
Arthur’s parents are pitching in, getting things together and marking them care of the Port Director, Inchon, Korea.
Sisters Pitch in Too
Arthur’s three sisters, Irene and Dora Gonzales, who married brothers, and Maggie, are helping and getting friends to help, too.
No wonder the St. Paul gets a cheer when it passes Fusshi-To in Inchon Harbor.
– By Thomas Martin