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Father Emil J. Kapaun
Posted by: Paul Foote (ID *****1149) Date: March 20, 2007 at 13:16:28
  of 791

Father (Chaplain-Captain, USA) Emil Joseph Kapaun:
Born: 20 Apr 1916, Pilsen, Marion Co., Kansas
Died: 23 May 1951 Pyoktong POW Camp # 5, North Korea, buried in a mass unidentified grave along the Yalu River, He was captured abt Nov 2, 1950 near Pyongyank, North Korea.

His Father: Enos Kapaun, Born in Bohemia, abt 1880, of German & Bohenian descent. He came to US at age 7 years. Believe that he died 21 June 1962. Comment: This family, like most Bohemians came from Czechoslovakia (Slovakia) regions of Europe. They came by ship, then rail to Florence Kansas, then by wagon to Pilsen, Kansas.

His Mother: Elizabeth Hajek, (Known as Bessie), Although her ancestors were Bohemian she was Born in Wakeeney, Trego Co., Kansas abt 1895. She was abt 15 years younger than Enos. They Married: May 18, 1915 in Ks. As Father Kapaun grew up the family lived on a farm near Pilsen.

Siblings: one other child, a brother, Eugene Kapaun born Mar 10, 1924. Eugene was married to Helen (surname unknown). Eugene served in the US Army Tank Corps during WWII. As of 28 April 1992 both Eugene & Helen were still alive and living in Colwich, Kansas. Eugene & Helen have a daughter named Angela.

Had an uncle John and aunt Cecilia Melcher(#1). They were his god parents. Their son Emil Melcher (#2) was a Cousin & a close friend as Father Kapaun grew up. Emil Melcher married Victoria (surname unknown) Feb 1938
Had an uncle Jim and aunt Anna (surname unknown)(maybe Hajek)Had an Aunt Tena (maybe Hajek) believe she married John Maier.

Father Kapaun Life Events

Apr 20 1916       Born Pilsen, Kansas
May 9, 1916       Baptized St. John Nepomucene Church,
Pilsen KS
May 18, 1930       Graduated Pilsen HS
1936              Graduate Conception College Missouri
1940              Graduate Kendrick Theological Seminary,
St. Louis
1940              Ordained Diocese of Wichita Kansas
Aug 24, 1944       Attended Chaplains School Ft. Devens, Mass
March 1845       Left for Burma Theater
Jan 1946       Promoted to Captain
Jun 1946       Separated from Army
Oct 1946       Registered in Masters Program Catholic
University, Washington D.C.
Feb 1948       M.A. Catholic University, Washington D.C.
Sep 1948       Re-enlisted
July 1950       Assigned to Korea
Sep 1950       Awarded Bronze Start Medal
Nov 1950        Captured by Chinese Communists
May 1951       Died in POW Camp
Oct 1952       Awarded Distinguished Service Cross “in
absentia”
Apr 2005 Recommended for posthumous award of THE
MEDAL OF HONOR, by petition of the United
States Federation of Korea Veterans


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