BUSAN, March 23 (Korea Bizwire) — A blueprint of a statue of late former U.S. Army Gen. Richard Whitcomb (1894-1982), dubbed the father of Korean War orphans, was unveiled Thursday.
A Busan civic committee said it has singled out the Whitcomb statue blueprint by artist Kwon Chi-gyu from among five candidates. It depicts Whitcomb and war orphans walking hand in hand.
Whitcomb, who served as commander of a U.S. logistics support base in Busan, 325 kilometers southeast of Seoul, during the Korean War (1950-53), is praised for helping rebuild the war-torn country and supporting war-ravaged South Koreans, especially war orphans.
He is also known for providing U.S. military supplies to Koreans who suffered damage in a major fire in downtown Busan in November 1953.
He was laid to rest at the U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan, and the South Korean government last year awarded the Mugunghwa Medal, the highest Order of Civil Merit, to Whitcomb.
The civic committee said Kwon’s blueprint visualizes Whitcomb’s belief that the most effective way to revive war-torn Busan was through education, as well as his advance into the future with children.
The committee began a fundraising campaign to build the Whitcomb statue last November, with the aim of collecting 300 million won (US$23,300) from 30,000 people, or 10,000 won per person.
The statue will be built at U.N. Memorial Park in the southern port city by November.