A Christmas Tradition from the Pacific

Soldier in Japan delivers presents as ‘Father Christmas’

After 71 years, a yearly tradition continued with the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and 25th Infantry Division all joining forces on December 4 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, to wrap presents to ship to the Holy Family Home in Japan.

The 25th Infantry Division shared photos of soldiers taking part in the annual tradition, tweeting, “It’s a long standing tradition, and it just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what nation you’re from, in the bigger picture, people help people.”

4 Dec. 2020, presents for orphans, (pic by: SSgt. Thomas Calvert

On Christmas Day in 1949, the 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds” were overwhelmed by the sight of tiny, barefoot children living in the decaying Holy Family orphanage in Osaka, Japan. The soldiers accompanied a Red Cross representative to the crumbling home that was brimming with underfed children in ragged clothes.

Sgt. Hugh Francis Xavior O’Reilly was still raw from the battlefield in those cold winter months following the end of World War II, but the site of those Japanese orphans provided the soldier with a new, gentler perspective.

The following payday, O’Reilly led the Wolfhounds in collecting donations for the struggling orphanage and donated what they could on New Year’s morning.

But for the Wolfhounds, that just wasn’t enough.

Soldiers and their families wrapping presents

Over the next year, the 27th continued to collect funds for the orphaned Japanese children, and by the time Christmas 1950

Soldiers writing out cards to send to Japan

rolled around, the Wolfhounds dragged a sleigh filled with supplies and toys, along with “Father Christmas.”

Now 71 years later, the 27th is still at it.

While the coronavirus pandemic did prevent the soldiers from hand-delivering the gifts to the children at the orphanage, over 600 gifts were wrapped and shipped the roughly 4,000 miles from the soldiers’ base in Hawaii to the Holy Family home in Osaka.


A couple of children happily receive toys at Jacob’s House orphanage, Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Dec. 22, 2013. Over 300 toys were donated by U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea.

Pacific Paratrooper has also had their own tradition during Christmas…



[To see the pictures that accompany the past and present – CLICK HERE!]





Click on still images to enlarge.

Military Christmas Humor –

Easton, MD–Dec. 22, 2011–This is a Christmas display at the home of Tom and Alice Blair, which includes an F 104 jet, Santa and his sleigh, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, etc. staff photo/Barbara Haddock Taylor} [Sun Photographer] #9306


Aboard the USS Nimitz


Yank mag. 24 Dec. 1943




Farewell Salutes – 

Francis Borgstrom – Forsythe, MT; USMC, WWII, PTO

Mamie (Weber) Cook – Deerfield, MO; Civilian, WWII, B-29 riveter

Robert Dutton – Niagara Falls, NY; US Army, WWII


Raymond Erickson – Orton Flat, SD; US Navy,   WWII, PBY communications crewman

Alfred T. Farrar (100) – Lynchburg, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII / FAA engineer

Wesley Grace – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII, ETO, mine clearing

Paul T. Ichiuji – Pacific Grove, CA; US Army, WWII, MISer (Intelligence)

James Mackey – Windsor, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI, aircraft mechanic

Alfred Shehab – Cape May, NJ; US Army, WWII, ETO, 102nd Calvary, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Lt. Col. (Ret. 21 y.) / NASA

Lloyd Zett – Loretta, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ATO, aircraft mechanic (Nome)

About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on December 24, 2020, in Current News, Home Front, Korean War, Post WWII, Uncategorized, Vietnam, WWII and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 211 Comments.

  1. Merry Christmas to you too. Whoever may be the God we believe but I pray everyone should be happy and blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just lovely 🙌 and I really appreciate your help for the abandoned needy one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The pic of the tank booming Santa is very expressive … Wishing that the new year be full of peace and health for all world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. GP Cox,, I wish a smooth, joyfull, healthy and very happy new year to you.
    Rosie from Germany 🎉🤗🎈 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mooie traditie en hoop dat die nooit verloren gaat

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hope your Christmas was a good one

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As always, your posts are fascinating and informative to read, so thank you for this. Plus I want to wish you and your family a fantastic New Year in 2021 and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is so good!

    I hope you had a happy Christmas and that 2021 will be a good year for you and for us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. wonderful post! i hope you had a merry Christmas and enjoyed your holiday!🎄

    Follow @everythingtips if you’re interested in tips and recommendations! It would mean a lot to me🥺🤍

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a heartwarming story of faithfulness from the Wolfhounds towards the Japanese orphans

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A wonderful tradition! I hope you had a nice Christmas, and all the best to you in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I hope that you had a very Merry Christmas and you have a safe and Happy New Year, thank you just for being you xxx best wishes Charlotte x

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have been following your career since you were a child and now George is in the mix – your years ahead can only get even better!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Happy New Year to you GP. It’s been a strange year for sure with our lives and plans on hold, but we have had some up sides too, a lot more time with each other for a good start, we have practiced a lot of music and had time to really concentrate on the little things, we’ve learnt new skills and done on-line courses. I passed my German language qualification with high marks and lots of extra practice I wouldn’t normally have the time for and George has had a lot of speed learning in recording, green screening and sound mixing. Every cloud and all that.

        I’m so happy to have you along for the ride, lets see what next year holds.
        Best wishes always,
        Charlotte x

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi GP, A belated Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope you are all well and keeping safe. I took Christmas day off of the computer and all social sites. Only real or via phone. (Yeah, I’m a dinosaur – LoL)


  14. Wonderful tradition… Sharing and wishing you A Very Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is heartwarming, GP. And the fact they’re still carrying on the tradition makes the story even better.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a fun and meaningful post! Merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy Boxing Day, GP! Hope, you had a beautiful celebration of the Christmas Eve, and you enjoyed it. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Happy Holidays to you, GP.😘

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A wonderful tradition sending cheers to those underprivileged kids. Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. “Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” – Quote by Dr. Seuss

    Have a wonderful Christmas and joyous days ahead with warm laughter. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. A belated Christmas wish……. I hope it was a good one…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Merry Christmas, Happy 2021 GP from Ithaca, New York

    Liked by 2 people

  23. What a great tradition. I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you all the best in the New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Merry Christmas GP, i hope the year hasn’t been too tough and that you were able to share some Christmas cheer with loved ones. A good post and a wonderful sentiment.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I warms my old Grinch :mrgreen: heart to see them continuing that tradition, GP. Thanks for this lovely holiday post. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. A beautiful and heartfelt endeavor for children in need. A true measure of how much kindness can truly impact their lives. Thanks for the post, GP, and Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. What a wonderful Christmas tradition. Merry Christmas 🎁🎄 GP!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. A heart-warming story. So much goodness in the world, if only we stop and look for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Thank you very much for the heartwarming Christmas stories. I learned something new today. Long may those traditions of giving and caring continue.

    Have a very merry Christmas, friend! All best wishes!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I think you may have solved some of your statue problems. Let’s make a start with one of Sergeant. Hugh Francis Xavior O’Reilly and then just work through the 27th Infantry Regiment, dotting statues across the country. Each one with the message “It doesn’t matter what nation you’re from, in the bigger picture, people help people.”

    A wonderful post for Christmas, thank you, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Thank you for sharing this Christmas tradition; Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. 🎅🎄Merry Christmas GP (friend)🎄⛄🎁🎈😊🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you for sharing this post.


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