Conspiracy Cafe

Conspiracy, alternative news, history, intelligence agencies

CONSPIRACY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: Battle Hymn

The war drums are beating again around and through the Korean peninsula. We would prefer to avoid war. It has a terrible cost. This is a touching story of some few that were saved and the terrible burden war imposes on men's souls. The guilt of killing the innocent is so powerful. No wonder our veterans suffer so terribly. The children raid the garbage for scraps of food. If we go down the war path again, it will be far worse. The weapons are that severe. Instead of living in opulence, leaders should be begging for a slice of bread to learn how precious both it and life are. 


Battle Hymn (aka By Faith I Fly) is a 1957 Technicolor war film starring Rock Hudson as Colonel Dean E. Hess, a real-life United States Air Force fighter pilot in the Korean War. Hess's autobiography of the same name was published concurrently with the release of the film. He donated his profits from the film and the book to a network of orphanages he helped to establish. The film was directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Ross Hunter and filmed in CinemaScope.


Plot

Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dean Hess (Rock Hudson) was a minister in Ohio. The attack prompts him to become a fighter pilot. Hess had accidentally dropped a bomb on an orphanage in Germany during World War II, killing 37 orphans. At the start of the Korean War, Hess volunteers to return to the cockpit and is assigned as the senior USAF advisor/Instructor Pilot to the Republic of Korea Air Force, flying F-51D Mustangs.


As Hess and his cadre of USAF instructors train the South Korean pilots, several orphaned war refugees gather at the base. He solicits the aid of two Korean adults (En Soon Yang (Anna Kashfi), and Lun Wa (Philip Ahn) and establishes a shelter for the orphans. When the Communists begin an offensive in the area, Hess evacuates the orphans on foot and then later, after much struggle with higher headquarters, obtains an airlift of USAF cargo aircraft to evacuate them to the island of Cheju where a more permanent orphanage is established.

Colonel Hess in Korea (Notice who we're fighting for? The UN is emblazoned on the helmet.)

Dean Elmer Hess (December 6, 1917 – March 2, 2015) was an American minister and United States Air Force colonel who was involved in the so-called "Kiddy Car Airlift," the documented rescue of 950 orphans and 80 orphanage staff from the path of the Chinese advance during the Korean War on December 20, 1950. He is the subject of autobiography Battle Hymn, published in 1956, which later served the basis for the 1957 film of the same name, where he was played by Rock Hudson.

Biography

Hess was born in 1917. He attended Marietta College, Ohio, graduating in the class of 1941. Following this, he was ordained as a church minister in Cleveland, Ohio. Following the December 7, 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor, Hess enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces. He served as a combat pilot in France after the Normandy landings, and flew a total of 63 combat missions in P-47s.

Despite returning to civilian life, Hess was recalled to active service in July 1948, and was stationed in Japan as part of the American occupation there. In June 1950, he was transferred to Korea at the outbreak of the Korean War as the commander of Bout One Project, the program under which a cadre of USAF instructor pilots trained South Korean pilots in flying the P-51D Mustang. Hess served in Korea until June the following year, at which time he had flown 250 combat missions. Also during his tour, he became involved in charity organizations for orphaned children in the war zone, and his airfield was reportedly full of such children.

Hess was married to Mary C. Lorentz (1941 - 1996) (her death) and had 4 children, Marilyn, Lawrence, Edward Alan, Ronald.

Kiddy Car Airlift

With the airfield over capacity, Hess sent the orphans to an orphanage in Seoul. When the North Korean forces began to capture the city, Hess reportedly organized 15 C-54 Skymaster aircraft to airlift the orphans to safety on Jeju Island. At the time of Hess' departure from Korea, a new orphanage on this island held over 1,000 Korean children.

Later life

Hess published his autobiography in 1956 and used the royalties to fund a new orphanage in Seoul. He retired from the air force in 1969. For his actions in Korea, he was awarded the Republic of Korea Honor, and the Korean Order of Cultural Merit. He has received numerous other awards, including the Order of the White Elephant, a Presidential Citation, the Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Air Medal with 19 Clusters, and the Ohio Governor's Award. He was inducted into the Miami Valley Walk of Fame, and his actions are also the subject of an exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force He died, aged 97 in 2015.

Criticism

In 2004 one critic, Dr. George F. Drake, took issue with Hess' portrayal of the Kiddy Car Airlift, claiming that Hess took more credit than deserved for the evacuation of the Korean orphans. Drake gave Air Force Chaplain LTC Russell L. Blaisdell and Staff Sergeant Merle Y. Strang the credit for arranging the transport for the evacuation, with Hess' role being reduced to providing accommodation on the island of Cheju itself. According to this criticism, Blaisdell was reportedly originally credited with the evacuation by the media until Battle Hymn was published. Drake terms Hess's claims as "fraudulent" but acknowledges that the proceeds from Battle Hymn and royalties from the movie were donated to charity to aid Korean orphans.

Air Force Chaplain LTC Russell L. Blaisdell

Blaisdell did receive recognition in 2000 when he returned to Korea, where he was referred to as the "Schindler of Korea," credit which Hess appeared to have agreed with, having in that same year acknowledged Blaisdell's contribution. Strang, however, died in 1998 before receiving recognition for his role.

Orphans receive candy from Flight Nurse Capt. Mary Spivak

A Korean toddler climbs the boarding ramp onto a C-54 at Kimpo

One person can always make a difference especially if he works for a higher power not an earthly one. Why weren't we taught about Colonel Hess in school? There has been a war against morality in Satan's ethereal space. We work behind enemy lines and alter the programming. The good news is there were lots of helping hands in the shadows of the story. God bless them all. 

Posted by Conspiracy Cafe on August 12, 2017 at 8:10 AM 169 Views