A Press release dated May 24, [1948]


By Natalie Hankemeyer
China Tribune Staff Correspondent

TIENTSIN, (my mail) - One thousand and ninety-five Koreans, who fled here from Manchuria, sailed last week aboard a U.S. Army LST for Korea, where the U.S. Military Government has promised to resettle them on the land. Commander of the ship is Capt. Howard N. Goodwin of Watertown, Mass. Accompanying him as Liaison Officer was Capt. Samuel Hong of the U.S. Army, American of Korean descent, and Father Carroll, American Catholic missionary who has served 17 years in Korea, who came as prepresentative of LARA, American relief agency in Korea.

The refugee[s] who sailed are mostly Christians of the Presbyterian faith, who originally fled from Japan to Manchuria to escape Japanese persecution following Japanese occupation of their homeland in 1910. Many of them are pastors or other Christian workers, others are small farmers and merchants. Some of them say they feared for their lives if captured by the Communists: others say both Nationalist and Communist armies have seized their land, work animals, and tools and so they are without livelihood in Manchuria.

This group, brought down in batches by charactered CAT planes or the Lutheran ship St. Paul have [sic] been in Tientsin between three and four months. To feed and shelter them, local Korean pastors and relief workers sought the aid of International Relief Committee, local agency of the American Advisory Committee of Shanghai, which in turn represents Church World Service, relief organization of the Protestant of America.

Refugee camps

Under the leadership of Dr. Mary Ting, chairman of IRC in Tientsin, two refugee camps were set up where the refugees were provided shelter, food and medical care. Four babies were born in the camps; five children died in a measles epidemic. All the refugees received inoculations and aside from the measles epidemic, there has been little illness in the camps.

The China Relief Mission of the U.S. State Department provided trucks to transport the refugees and their few belongings to the Bund; the Tientsin municipal authorities also lent trucks and most of the refugees were aboard ship long before sailing time at noon. Two doctors, two nurses and two attendants who had accompanied the ship from Korea made last minute physical checp-ups [sic] and D.D.T.'d baggage. They brought medicines, warm blankets and other comforts to make the journey easier for the refugees.

Wave Greetings

Among the officials at the wharf to see the ship sail, Dr. Ting was an inconspicuous figure. But she was spotted by many among the refugees, who waved and called greetings to her. She has been a regular visitor at both camps, checking up on sanitation and health conditions and stopping to chat and bring cheer to the downhearted. One refugee called to her from the ship, "Thank you - thank you! Thank you for my baby!" He was one of the anxious fathers whose baby had been born under Dr. Ting's care.

Word has come from Mukden that thousands more, who cannot get aboard the planes, are coming afoot to Chinchow, and from there by rail to Tientsin. Just as the camps were emptied of those who have just sailed, 180 more arrived, who had walked out by this route. They have been moved into one of the camps to await the return of the ship. They said many, many more were following them.

- China Daily Tribune, Monday, May 24th. [May 24th was on a Monday in 1948.]