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CHILDHELP

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Beaumont, CA

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Two young Hollywood actresses, Sara (Buckner) O’Meara and Yvonne (Lime) Fedderson, met playing the bubbly girlfriends of Ricky and David Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Little did they know at the time, it was a friendship that would last a lifetime.

1959

Fast-forward seven years, and two rising stars, a stunning brunette and beautiful blonde, were picked from a possible cast of hundreds as part of a government-sponsored goodwill tour. They were selected and flown to Japan to entertain American soldiers during the Korean War.

When they arrived, the entire city of Tokyo was shut down by a severe typhoon with violent winds. “Red flag” alerts warned locals to remain indoors, though a few desperate souls scavenged through the debris and wreckage looking for food and shelter. Among these unfortunate souls was a group of children huddled beneath a fallen awning, pressed together for warmth, but still shivering against the freezing wind. The children were barefoot, clothed in rain-soaked rags and weeping.

After days trapped in their hotel room, the willful and daring actresses grew restless and decided to sneak out for a midday walk. They did not want to miss all the sights and sounds of this fascinating new culture. Propelled by youthful curiosity, they explored the side streets of Tokyo and strode right into the cowering orphans. Turning onto the side street, giggling as their shoes sank into the mud, the young Hollywood actresses must have looked like angels emerged from the terrifying storm to the children.

They immediately ran to the children and cuddled as many as would fit under their billowing coats. Sara and Yvonne furiously flipped through the pages of their English to Japanese dictionaries to converse as best they could. They discovered the little survivors were stranded.

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