Some people go to the dump and return home with more stuff than they took in the first place. The following happened to one of those people.

The incident occurred near Ichon, South Korea in July, 1953. An American soldier heard a noise in a pile of trash. Curious, he investigated and discovered that the noise was being made by a baby. The boy was weak and thin. A rash covered his body and his legs had been burned. The baby was taken to an orphanage nearby. Because the orphanage lacked the proper facilities, a call went out to U.S. medical installations in the area. Admiral John T. Hayward, skipper of the aircraft carrier USS Point Cruz, sent a doctor and a chaplain from the ship. These two officers notified Hayward that the infant, whom orphanage staff members had named “George,” would not survive if he were not rescued. The skipper, finding no other solution, ordered the doctor and the chaplain to bring George on board.

A crib, of sorts, was prepared in sick bay, diapers were fabricated from Navy sheets, and sailors volunteered to care for George. Because many more sailors volunteered than were needed, Hayward arranged daily baby viewing on the hanger deck.

George quickly found a place on the ship and in the hearts of crew members. The sailors, deeming that the name “George” was somehow inadequate, designated the infant “George Cruz Ascom”–”Ascom” for the Army unit that had discovered him and “Cruz” for the name of the aircraft carrier which was his temporary home.

In time, someone tailored a little suit and another crew member made him shoes. The cooks prepared baby food and even managed to obtain formula. The men in the laundry never complained about the dirty diapers.

Although George was loved by hundreds of sailors on the USS Point Cruz, Hayward knew that George’s present situation could not become permanent. A passport was acquired, requiring a bribe in the form of a fifth of Scotch, and a visa was obtained with the help of then Vice-President Nixon, who happened to be visiting South Korea at the time.

An officer, serving on the hospital ship USS Consolation, saw George and offered to legally adopt him. Dr. Keenan and George sailed to Seattle, where the baby was accepted and loved by Mrs. Keenan and the Keenans’ two daughters. George was renamed “Daniel Edward” by his forever family.

Daniel grew up in a loving home and eventually became a sportswriter for a newspaper in the state of Washington. From time to time, he thinks about his odyssey and he is thankful.

But now says the Lord, He who created you,

O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name You are mine.

(Isaiah 43:1)


The sailors on the Point Cruz and the Keenan family redeemed George/Daniel from death.

God redeemed Israel from its captivity in Babylon.

By his crucifixion, Jesus Christ redeems humankind from sin.

Thanks be to God.

Ken Tubbesing


(The preceding story was taken from The American Legion Magazine, December 1991.)