He has thousands to write to
Korea troops' parents. AFTER 14 packed days among the troops in
Korea-mostly in the forward areas-and in Tokyo and Formosa, Cardinal Spellman is return ing to New York with thousands of small pieces of paper in his luggage. Every one represents a letter he will write when he reaches home.
.. Wherever he went during the Christmas and New Year season the Cardinal htvhed the men he met-men of all ranks-to write down the names and addresses of his parents or other relatives.
Sergeant Leonard Riley, of the U.S. Air Force, who acted as his private secretary during the tour, gathered up the slips of paper torn from notebooks.
For his .trips to the front line Cardinal Spellman wore an Army winter uniform. with field overcoat and fur cap. On other journeys he wore a black cassock v,ith red trimmings under vestments borrowed from a chaplain's Mass kit. Only a red biretta and skull cap identified him as a Cardinal.
He travelled in two-engined airpianes, light planes. helicopters, jeeps and a staff car. On longer flights he travelled in General Van Fleet's
On one occasion when snow had grounded them. the Cardinal and she General helped each other to push their jeep back on the track after il had skidded on a frozen mnuntain road.
The Cardinal celebrated 12 Masses for the troops. At some of the openair Masses the congregations reached 10.000.
Visiting military hospitals, • he insisted on going into every ward and shaking hands with each patient.
Men of many nations. Catholics and non-Catholics, went to greet him and thank him for his visit. At one division command post, for instance. Philippine soldiers, Belgians, Greeks and Thailanders lined up with American troops to shake his hand.
One man. as he stook the Cardinal's hand, said to him: " I am an atheist."
The Cardinal's eye twinkled as he replied: " I hope you live long enough to get over it."
Greek soldiers kissed his ring with great reverence.
At one mobile hospital near the front the Cardinal's Mass was served expertly by two Korean boys it turned out that before they were drafted into the Korean Army they were studying for the priesthood. An Irish, a Scottish. an Australian and five Canadian chaplains were among the priests who came to greet the Cardinal. and non-Catholic chaplains cooperated in welcoming him.
General Van Fleet made a deep impression on his men by accompanying the Cardinal almost continuously and attending his Masses with other Generals. Occasionally they knelt with men who hadn't slept for two days and yet journeyed through snow for hours to be at the Mass.
For his last Mass in Korea Cardinal Spellman chose the bomb damaged Cathedral in Seoul. Hundreds of troops and 150 Koreans came through snow-covered streets to attend, and hundreds received Holy Communion. Seouhs Korean Bishop. Mgr. Ro. was in the sanctuary, and Korean priests served at the Mass.