Air Force ‘HERO’ Found to be a FRAUD.
When I visited Korea in 1998 the Public Affairs Officer of US Forces/Korea suggested that I read the book Battle Hymn as it was a wonderful story of how Colonel Dean E. Hess, USAF saved the lives of almost 1,000 orphans. On return home I got a copy of the book and I was truly impressed. But then I also began collecting everything I could find on the relationship of US servicemen and women and the children of Korea during the war years and, much to my consternation, I found that Hess is rarely mentioned in the early reports of that rescue pulled off on 20 December, 1950.
A reporter from Airman Magazine, the publication of the U.S. Air Force, called me and asked what I knew of that rescue and I had to admit that I was suspicious of Hess’s claim of being responsible for the rescue. Then Tom Brokaw’s staff phoned me and I, by that time, was even more certain that Hess had nothing to do with the rescue. I was able to direct Brokaw’s staff to movie footage of the actual rescue that was in the US National Archives. Then I met Chaplain Russell L. Blaisdell, Colonel, USAF, Retired, who was the one who actually rescued the children. He gave me a copy of his diary of that event which clearly indicated that Colonel Hess had nothing to do with the rescue.
Frankly, I was shocked! I now had the evidence that one of the great “heroes” of the Korean War was a FRAUD! And, frankly, I am now doubly shocked to find out that no one seemingly gives a damn. In fact I have been called by a General in the Air Force located in the Pentagon asking me to ‘lay off” and not push this any further. I provide herewith an early statement that I prepared spelling out my charges that Colonel Dean E. Hess is a FRAUD.
I will comment further on this story in a later posting.