USS Point Cruz CVE119

Shipmate & Member Events

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Members & Shipmate Events

On April 24th, 2010 Dan and Shirley Keenan (the BABY), Betty my wife and I and Manual Bustamonte went to South Korea as a guest of the KWVA (Korean War Veterans Association) and the Korean Government (Military Patriot Association).  This is an on going program that the KWVA started several years ago.
The itinerary included a return to the 'Star of the Sea' orphanage where Danny was found in 1953.  He was adopted in late 1953 by Dr. Hugh Keenan and his wife Geneivieve. Danny was sent to the United States in the company of Father Edward Riley. The Captain of the USS Point (Capt. John T. Hayward) as well as the ships chaplain (Father Edward Riley) were instimental in saving Danny. While onboard the Point Cruz, Danny was adopted by the 1000 men on the ship and was named 'George Ascom Cruz'.  Once he was adopted by Dr Keenan, he was given the christian name of Danial.
There have been several stories and articles written about Danny's adventer as well as a 1996 made for television movie "1000 Men and a Baby."
We had a very fast and sucessful 'Pledge Drive' to help defray some of the Keenan's Korean trip expenses and raised a fantastic $1494.13. We were shooting for $2000 and came very close. Like I told the shipmates I contacted, This was a very short notice "Pledge Drive" so I did not have time to contact everyone.
The tours also include the Korean War Memorial Museum, The Inchon Landing Memorial, The DMZ (Demilitorized Zone), the Royal Palace, the Republic of Korea Presidential Residence (the Blue House) as well as a Banquet in Honor of all the Korean war Veterans.  They had veterans from the USA, Columbia, Turkey and Etheopia. WE were treated like VIP's.
Ous hotel was the 'Lotte World Hotel' the best hotel in Seoul. The food was excellent an both Western and Asian food was available.
The only cost was airfare via Korean Airlines and the Korean Government paid 50% of the 'QUALIFIED' veterans (You must have servered in the Korean Theater Air, Land or Sea during the Korean War) and 30% of their wives or companions. All other expenses were covered except for any souveniers you want to buy.  It is recommended that you donate to the gifts for the Tour Guide, The Nurses that are available 24 hours a day during your stay, the men/boys that are there to assist you everywhere you go from when you get off the airplane in Inchon to the evening you return to the USA.
In 2011, Phil Miller and his son along with Bill Cassaday and his wife Carolyn took the trip.  Their report was the same.  "ONCE IN A LIFE TIME" experience.
This is a trip I would highly reccomend.  You will never have a opportunity to experience a trip like this for this low a cost.
If you are interested, please contact Sunny Lee for QUALIFICATIONS at:
Sunny was our organizer/hostess.  Great Lady. 
William McMillen
Secretary, USS Point Cruz CVE119 Association


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