Camas Elementary School

Camas Elementary School, Camas, Idaho
PFC. Jimmy Lucas Children’s Library

By mid-November 1950, U.S. and Allied forces had advanced to within approximately sixty miles of the Yalu River, the border between North Korea and China. On November 25, approximately 300,000 Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) “volunteers” suddenly and fiercely counterattacked after crossing the Yalu. The 2nd Infantry Division, located the farthest north of units at the Chongchon River, could not halt the CCF advance and was ordered to withdraw to defensive positions at Sunchon in the South Pyongan province of North Korea. As the division pulled back from Kunu-ri toward Sunchon, it conducted an intense rearguard action while fighting to break through well-defended roadblocks set up by CCF infiltrators. The withdrawal was not complete until December 1, and the 2nd Infantry Division suffered extremely heavy casualties in the process.

Corporal Jimmy Lucas, who joined the U.S. Army from Idaho, was a member of Company H of the 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. On November 29, 1950, the 38th Infantry Regiment was ordered to defend the area east of Kunu-ri, to cover the start of the 2nd Division’s retreat. The CCF attacked as the 38th Infantry consolidated their defenses, forcing the defenders to fight their way back to Kunu-ri before joining the withdrawal to Sunchon. A series of moving battles ensued, and CPL Lucas went missing at some point during the fighting. He was never reported as a prisoner of war. Corporal Lucas’s remains have not been recovered, and he has not been associated with any remains returned to U.S. custody after the war.

We are having a wonderful time learning about Korea. I have decided to spread it out throughout the entire school year! This way the children will be totally immersed in your culture. School has been whirling by and a lot of children have been missing many days due to sickness over the past few months, so taking the whole year on learning about Korea just made more sense to me.

Our School’s Christmas music concert was last Thursday. I showcased the ramen bowl collages the elementary children made at the back of the gym (of where the concert was held) so their parents could see what they have been learning about in the Library this semester. Both the children and their families were excited to see the beautiful care the children had in creating the designs on their special bowls. 🍜

The children also finished their hanoks. I didn’t have enough room to showcase those for the concert, so I put together a gift package of all the artwork done so far this year, along with the hanoks, to give to their families under the tree for Christmas. They are working on Christmas cards to go on their packages this week.

Thank you both so much! I will let you know when everything arrives.

The plaque sitting on my desk has generated a lot of conversations. Last Friday was a schoolwide parent teacher conference for kindergarten through 12th grade. The children brought their parents into the library to see their artwork they have been working on in September and October. You saw their dots for Dot Day when you were here, but we added their National Hispanic Heritage Month artwork to the other side of the wall. Many parents asked where the ramen bowl artwork was. (Which means the children have been excitedly telling their parents about creating them!) It was the perfect start to our conversations about South Korea, the 6.25 Foundation and the sacrifice of Private Jimmy Lucas and the other brave Idahoans!

I also let them know that all the children’s Korean artwork will be on display during the school’s Christmas Concert on December 7th.

I will send you a slide show later this week of the progress on their ramen bowls. I will also let the children know about the dolls and the Korean clothing so they too can be looking forward to seeing them!!
Camas School Library