* Date : 2014-07-02
Documentary Special Part 3,
Operation Kiddy Car
On December 20, 1950, over a thousand Korean orphans were flown to Jeju on military aircrafts to save them from an impending attack from China in the midst of the Korean War. How were a thousand children, bereft of their parents, taken to Jeju in the chaotic fog of the war? The Operation Kiddy Car Airlift documentary will trace the extraordinary journey of these children.
Approximately 500,000 children in North Korea and South Korea died during the Korean War. More than 100,000 children lost their parents. Among the 100,000 war orphans, 4000 of them were adrift in Seoul. Russell Blaisdell was a U.S. Air Force chaplain deployed to Korea during this time. He made a personal effort to rescue young Korean orphans by transporting as many of them as he could to Jongno Elementary School where he cared for them.
Then China suddenly entered the Korean War. Even the UN Allied forces pulled back and withdrew from Seoul as the million-strong Chinese army began to approach. In the meantime, Chaplain Blaisdell had to find a way to evacuate the orphans under his care and he was running out of time.
His plan to take the children to Jeju by boat was in peril because, after waiting for four days, a boat had still not arrived.
As the situation became ever more dangerous, he took all the children to Gimpo Airport by truck to wait for a fleet of 16 C54 military transport planes which were stationed in Japan. It was Blaisdell's Operation Kiddy Car Airlift.
How did an Air Force chaplain mobilize a fleet of military transport planes without asking high-ranking Air Force officers for approval? On July 2 at 9 am, Arirang TV will air the Documentary Special: Operation Kiddy Car Airlift to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.