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Coming Home: Father J. Alfred Carroll and Gonzaga's Amerasian Education Program, 1980 - 2010: Case 2

Case 2: Growing Up in Korea

The Amerasian population in Korea first began at the end of World War II, when America occupied the southern half of the Korean peninsula after expelling the Japanese. These children were predominantly the result of the camptown prostitution that thrived at US military bases in Korea, and they were often raised in poverty after being abandoned by their American fathers. Amerasians faced rampant racism and abuse while growing up in Korea, and black Amerasians had an especially difficult time. Starting in the 1960s, American Christian organizations began creating adoption and sponsorship programs for these children, hoping they could aid them when the Korean and American governments would not help. However, adult Amerasians were often excluded from these services, so they were forced to find a different path to America.

Infant James Augustine Walsh with his American father and Korean mother, ca. 1960.

This picture was taken of Amerasian James Augustine Walsh on his 100th day, a celebrated day in Korean culture.

Jonny Barnes with his Mother's family, ca. 1960.

Johnny Barnes's Unnamed American Father, ca. 1960.

Young Johnny Barnes in Military Outfit, ca. 1963.

Amerasian Johnny Barnes emulates his absent father while dressed in a soldier’s outfit.

"Merry Christmas! From All of Us at Holy Family and St. Vincent's", Poster, ca. 1980.

A holiday pamphlet from St. Vincent’s Home for Amerasians in Seoul with the profiles of many of their Amerasian children and adults. The pamphlet asks to contact the church if interested in adopting or sponsoring an Amerasian young adult or family.

Hugh Davis, "Danny Lee's Uncertain Birthday Tells a Story," Spokane Chronicle, November 20, 1981.

A profile written on the life of Gonzaga Amerasian student Danny Lee that explains the struggles mixed-race children faced in Korea.

Letter from Norma Lee Walsh to United States Congress, June 25, 1982.

Gonzaga Amerasian student Norma Lee Walsh writes about her life “of sadness and trouble” in Korea due to racism. At the end, she implores legislators to push the Denton/McKinny bill so it will become easier for Amerasians to become US citizens.

Korean Flag Pennant, 1984.

A Korean flag pennant bought by Father Carroll during his 1984 Korea trip.

The Westin Chosun Hotel Map of Seoul, 1984.

A map of Seoul given to Father Alfred Carroll during his trip to Korea in 1984.

Letter from James L. Dunnet to Father Carroll, S.J., November 25, 1985.

A Thanksgiving letter sent from Father Carroll’s contact in Korea about his ‘gigab’ (Korean wallet) program that raised funds for the Amerasian Program.

Johnny Barnes with Korean mother and American Father, ca. 1960.

Memoir of Oh Young Ho, ca. 1982.

Oh Young Ho, a young Amerasian who was hit by a US military convey as a child and was permanently injured on his pelvis, sent this memoir to the program explaining the struggles he faced in Korea.  

Mike Brennan, "Amerasians: Products of Two Countries, Accepted by Neither," Spokane Chronicle, April 6, 1982.

Commemorative Coin from the Olympics in Seoul, 1988.

A gift to the program from Amerasian alum Sam Lee, this coin was made to commemorate South Korea’s very first Olympic games.

Seoul Broadcasting System DVD, March 11, 2006.

This DVD from one of South Korea’s main television channels, and contains a mini-documentary on abandoned Amerasians that aired in 2006.