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George F. Drake papers

Identifier: 3312

Scope and Contents

The George F. Drake papers, 1950-2017, consist of audiovisual materials, correspondence, clippings, articles, research documents, notes, and books created and collected by George F. Drake. The majority of the material is comprised of DVDs, CDs, and CD-Rs featuring audiovisual content, photos, and articles pertaining to orphans during the Korean War and Drake's efforts to bring awareness of this matter through the erecting of the Korean War Children's Memorial and his website. The collection also includes correspondence, clippings, and publicity of the Korean War Children's Memorial and articles, notes and research documents on Russell Blaisdell, Dean Hess, and the Kiddy Car Airlift rescue operation that took place in 1950 during the Korean War and was dramatized in the 1957 film entitled "Battle Hymn" starring Rock Hudson. Included within the Kiddy Car Airlift series is Drake's photo exhibit and published booklet regarding this event, entitled "GIs and the Kids: A Love Story", as well as his research diaries and documents in attempt to uncover the truth of this event.

The remainder of the collection comprises general correspondence with Korean War Veterans, articles and clippings (included collected clippings and biographical information on Drake after his being named an honorary citizen of Gwangju City), and the books "Korean 65: the forgotten war remembered" and the Korean language version of "Father of a thousand: kids of the Korean War".


  • 1950 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of the Korean Heritage Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Korean Heritage Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical Note

George F. Drake is an American Korean War veteran and activist. He was assigned to the 326th Communications Reconnaissance Company, an Army Security Agency radio intelligence company. A large part of his job was communication with the company orphanage committee. In Drake's first six months in Korea, he noted having sent over 1,000 letters soliciting help for the orphans of the war, in addition to his regular shifts in the operations tent and guard duty. Upon returning to the U.S. after the war, Drake enrolled in Monterey Peninsula College where he organized campaigns to collect material for the orphans in Korea.

Drake continued his studies at University of California Berkeley, earning a B.A. in history and a M.A. in sociology. Thereafter he taught high school for three years before joining the U.S. Foreign Service. Drake moved to Colombia where he was appointed Director of the Centro Colombo-Americano. Drake's community interest was renewed there, and he began to develop programs to help aid the poor. The literary program developed by Drake in the U.S. cultural center earned him the title of honorary citizen of the city of Gwangju.

Over the next twenty-plus years, Drake was involved in a number of community action projects while living in Bellingham, WA as well as chairing the city park department sculpture committee, where the construction of the Korean War Children's Memorial pavilion took place. Drake has dedicated himself to the Korean War Children's Memorial, bringing awareness for this topic through his book and photo exhibit entitled "GIs and the Kids – A Love Story: American Armed Forces and the Children of Korea 1950-1954" and his Korean War Children's Memorial website.

Drake has also focused on bringing renewed awareness to the Kiddy Car Airlift rescue operation from December 20, 1950, which for years was solely credited to Colonel Dean E. Hess and was the subject of the film dramatization "Battle Hymn." Drake has put together documentation and research to reveal that Chaplain Russell L. Blaisdell was the true hero of that operation.


1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



George F. Drake is an American Korean War veteran and activist. This collection comprises primarily DVDs, CDs, and CD-Rs created and collected by Drake and pertaining to orphans during the Korean War. It also contains correspondence, clippings, and documents relating to Korean War Children's Memorial and the Kiddy Car Airlift rescue operation, as well as news clippings, articles and a few books.


The George F. Drake papers have been organized into the following series: 1. DVDs and CD-Rs; 2. Korean War Children's Memorial; 3. Kiddy Car Airlift; 4. General correspondence and notes; 5. Books, articles, and clippings. Arrangement within each series is alphabetical.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of George F. Drake, October 2017.

Finding aid for the George F. Drake papers
Sarah Cassone
2018 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries East Asian Library Repository

Doheny Memorial Library
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-1825 United States