Father Emil Kapaun

April 20, 1916 - May 23, 1951
Patron of Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School - Wichita, KS

 

The Fr. Kapaun Guild will begin hosting monthly Masses to pray for the beatification and canonization of Fr. Kapaun at the Spiritual Life Center.  All KMC students, parents and staff are encouraged to attend these monthly Masses.  The first Mass will be Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 pm.         

For press releases and other information about the cause of Fr. Kapaun's canonization, click HERE.

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Chaplain Emil Kapaun, Servant of God

Prayer

Lord Jesus, in the midst of the folly of war, your servant, Chaplain Emil Kapaun, spent himself in total service to you on the battlefields and in the prison camps of Korea, until his death at the hands of his captors. We now ask you, Lord Jesus, if it be your will, to make known to all the world the holiness of Chaplain Kapaun and the glory of his complete sacrifice for you by signs of miracles and peace. In your name, Lord, we ask, for you are the source of peace, the strength of our service to others, and our final hope.
Amen.

Chaplain Kapaun, pray for us.

Fr. Kapaun an Example of Love in a Prison of Hate

Army chaplain Emil J. Kapaun, armed during the Korean War only with the love of God, was described by those who served with him as the best and bravest foot soldier they ever knew.

Fr. Kapaun, a Wichita diocesan priest from Pilsen, died in a prison at 35 and was buried somewhere along the Yalu River in North Korea. "If I don't come back, tell my Bishop that I died a happy death," Fr. Kapaun told fellow prisoners as he was carried away to die.

He was honored Saturday, June 2, 2001 at Kapaun Mount Carmel High School, and Sunday, June 3, at Pilsen.

Fr. Kapaun was captured because he refused an order to try to escape through the surrounding enemy after the 8th Cavalry was overwhelmed on Nov. 2, 1950. Fr. Kapaun was seized by the enemy as he administered the last rites to a dying soldier.

He was taken to a POW camp run by the Chinese.

"It was obvious, Father said, that we must either steal food or slowly, starve," said fellow prisoner 1st Lt. Mike Dowe, who added that Fr. Kapaun risked his life by sneaking into fields around the prison compound to look for hidden potatoes and sacks of corn.

"The riskiest thefts were carried out by daylight under the noses of the Chinese," Lt. Dowe said. "The POWs cooked their own food, which was drawn from an open shed some two miles down the valley.

"When the men were called out to make the ration run, Father would slip in at the end of the line. Before the ration detail reached the supply shed, he'd slide off into the bushes. Creeping and crawling, he'd come up behind the shed, and while the rest of us started a row with the guard and the Chinese doling out the rations, he'd sneak in, snatch up a sack of cracked corn and scurry off into the bushes with it."

Fr. Kapaun would always put the corn into the communal pot, an example that other men, who would steal food for themselves, were shamed into following.

As the unsanitary conditions and unhealthy diet took their toll on the men, the priest from Kansas was there to help.

"Even when they died, he did not abandon them," Lt. Dowe said. "The POWs buried their own dead ... Men dodged this detail whenever they could. But Father always volunteered. And at the grave, as the earth covered the naked body -- the clothing of the dead was saved to warm the living -- he would utter for them the last great plea: 'Eternal rest grant unto him, 0 Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.'"

Fr. Kapaun would often escape to the houses where the enlisted men were held. He would hold a quick service, starting with a prayer for the men who had died in Korea and for their families.

"Then he would say a prayer of thanks to God for the favors He had granted us, whether we knew about them or not," Lt. Dowe said.,

"Then he'd speak, very briefly, a short, simple sermon, urging them to hold on and not lose hope of freedom. And above all, he urged them not to fall for the lying doctrines the Reds were trying to pound into our heads.

Somehow his presence could turn a stinking, louse-ridden mud hut -- for a little while -- into a cathedral, Lt. Dowe said.

Fr. Kapaun did much more for the men. He gathered and washed the foul undergarments of the dead and distributed them to men who could barely move because of dysentery.

"He washed and tended these men as if they were little babies," Lt. Dowe said. "He traded his watch for a blanket and cut it up to make warm socks for helpless men whose feet were freezing. The most dreaded chore of all was cleaning the latrines, and men argued bitterly over whose time it was to carry out this loathsome task. And while they argued, he'd slip out quietly and do the job."

Because of their diet, the POWs became sick and weak with many beginning to show signs of starvation. One day, though, their diet was different. 
 

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Father Emil J. Kapaun

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Fr. Kapaun celebrates a battlefield Mass. (For Holy Cards with this picture and the Chaplain Emil Kapaun, Servant of God prayer, please contact crusaders@kapaun.org.)

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A crucifix hand carved in Fr. Kapaun's POW camp by a fellow prisoner is displayed at Kapaun Mount Carmel Catholic High School, along with numerous other items of memorabilia.  Anyone interested in seeing these items are welcome to come to the school during normal school hours.

Books for further reading about Father Kapaun

The Story of Chaplain Kapaun, Patriot Priest of the Korean Conflict by Father Arthur Tonne. Published 1954 by Didde Printing Company in Emporia, Kansas. (Currently out of print, but sometimes available at used book stores. Also available at the Chancery office.)

A Shepherd in Combat Boots, Chaplain Emil Kapaun of the 1st Calvary Division by William L. Maher, 1997, by Burd Street Press of Shippensburg, Pa.

Books that contain excerpts about Chaplain Kapaun:

Believed to be Alive by Captain John W. Thornton, 1981, by Paul S. Eriksson, Middlebury, Vt.; Memoir of a Cold War Soldier by Richard E. Mack, 2001, by Kent State University Press.

Father Kapaun's prayers answered with a meal

Editor's note: This is the second half of the article about Father Emil J. Kapaun, a native son of Pilsen, Kan., who died 50 years ago in a North Korean prisoner of war camp. Fr. Kapaun was honored on Saturday, June 2, at his namesake Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, Wichita, KS. A statue of the hero chaplain was unveiled during a ceremony Sunday, June 3, in Pilsen. (Shown at top of page)

"The night before St. Patrick's Day, Father called us together and prayed to Saint Patrick, asking him to help us in our misery," Lt. Dowe wrote. "The next day, the Chinese brought us a case of liver-the first meat we had had-and issued us golian instead of millet. The liver was spoiled and golian is sorghum seed ... but to us they were like manna. Later he prayed for tobacco, and that night a guard walked by and tossed a little bag of dry, straw-like tobacco into our room."

As the prisoners continued to weaken, the communists intensified their propaganda. The prisoners would sit for hours in lectures while Comrade Sun, a fanatic who intensely hated Americans, assailed capitalism. After the lecture the men would have to comment on "the great truths revealed by Comrade Sun."

Some men were thrown into a freezing hole for their comments about the lectures, Lt. Dowe said. Others veiled their ridicule: "According to the great doctrines taught us by the noble Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Engels, Amos and Andy..." the men would say.

"Father was not openly arrogant, nor did he use subterfuge," the lieutenant said. "Without losing his temper 'or raising his voice, he'd answer the lecturer point by point, with a calm logic that set Comrade Sun screaming and leaping on the platform like an angry ape."

Fr. Kapaun was never punished, although he was threatened and warned.

In another incident, two officers who knew him well were tortured into accusing Fr. Kapaun of slandering the Chinese and of displaying a hostile attitude toward his captors, he said: "You never should have suffered a moment, trying to protect me."

Lt. Dowe said after the torture, the men expected a trial in which Fr. Kapaun would never return. "Instead, they (the Chinese) merely called him in and bullied him and threatened him. We realized then what we had known all along. They were afraid of him. They recognized in him a strength they could not break, a spirit they could not quell."

On Easter Sunday, 1951, Fr. Kapaun challenged his captors again, openly flouting their law against religious services.

"He could not celebrate the Easter Mass, for all his Mass equipment had been lost at the time of his capture ... He told the story of Christ's suffering and death, and then, holding in his hand a Rosary made of bent barbed wire cut from the prison fence, he recited the glorious mysteries."

The next Sunday, Fr. Kapaun collapsed while holding another service. Although he was weak, he battled dysentery, pneumonia and an infection in one of his legs and eyes.

During the last day Fr. Kapaun spent with his fellow prisoners, Lt. Walter Mayo Jr., said the chaplain was in great pain. "His face was contorted with pain every few minutes and we were all pretty much scared."

With tears rolling down his face he began telling the men the story of the Seven Macchabes in the Old Testament.

"There was an emperor who had an old woman brought up before him. He told her to renounce her Faith or he would torture and kill her. She replied that he could do anything he wanted, but she would not renounce it.

"The emperor then had her seven sons brought in and said he would kill them if she did not do as he said. She still refused and he then put them to death one by one. The old woman was crying and the emperor asked her if she was crying because she was sad. She replied that her tears were tears of joy because she knew her sons were in heaven."

"Father then looked at us and said he was crying for the same reason. He said that he was glad he was suffering because Our Lord had suffered also and that he felt closer to Him.

"By that time we were all crying," Lt. Mayo said. "Everyone in that room, who had seen scores of people die in the past few months and who thought they were pretty hard."

Soon after, the Chinese came to carry Fr. Kapaun to the hospital. "The Chinese saw a good chance to get this man they feared, now that he was helpless. They hated him because he had such an influence over all the prisoners.

"Three or four days later," Lt. Mayo said. "Father died among the men he served, up on a hill overlooking the Yalu River in that communist hospital of death."

(Information for this article, written by Christopher M. Riggs, was taken from Msgr. Arthur Tonne's 'The Story of Chaplain Kapaun' and the Jan. 16, 1954, edition of the Saturday Evening Post.) 
 

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Father Kapaun, second from right, assists a soldier in the field.

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Father Kapaun's namesake is located at 8506 East Central, Wichita, KS 67206

(Posted on CWV Web site 18 August 2001) 

Reprinted from Catholic Advance, Diocesan Newspaper of the Diocese of Wichita

 

Two Tours in Hell

By: Maj Allan C. Bevilacqua, USMC (Ret)

 

At 1330 on 6 May 1942, Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainright, USA, commanding the last remaining American and Filipino forces in the Philippines, surrendered the island fortress of Corregidor in Manila Bay to the overwhelming numbers of LtGen Masaharu Homma’s 14th Imperial Japanese Army. Wainright’s men had given their commander everything they had. Pounded relentlessly by massed Japanese artillery and totally unopposed air forces, reduced to a ration of 30 ounces of food per day and less than one canteen cup of water, they had fought heroically against all hope. Finally, there was no hope left.

 

In his last radio message to his Commander in Chief, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wainright said: “There is a limit to human endurance, and that point has long been passed.” At the command post of the Fourth Marine Regiment, the island’s primary infantry force, Colonel Samuel L. Howard, the regimental commander, ordered that the national and regimental colors be burned rather than surrendered. Then he and his pitifully under-strength regiment joined the 11,000 prisoners of war marched into Japanese captivity.

 

In the sadly depleted ranks of Company D, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, Sergeant Felix J. McCool, with the wounds he had received several weeks before still not completely healed, may have wondered what was coming next. If he did, it is unlikely he could have imagined that this was but the first of two tours in hell.

 

Hell wasn’t long in arriving. Exhausted, malnourished, dehydrated and weakened by sickness and half-healed wounds, the defenders of Corregidor, now prisoners of the Japanese, were slapped, cuffed, kicked and punched into loose ranks by their captors. Japanese guards were quick to prod laggards along with bayonet and rifle butt. Personal possessions, watches, rings, photographs, letters and the like were stripped from their owners. Anyone who resisted found himself on the receiving end of a world-class beating.

 

Held briefly on Corregidor, the mass of prisoners was ferried to Manila and paraded through the streets while Japanese cameramen recorded what was intended to be their humiliation. The tactic didn’t work. The citizens of Manila who were supposed to jeer at the prisoners driven along at bayonet point, instead cheered and applauded, some risking beatings or worse to bring water to the exhausted men.

 

The following day, after an overnight stay in Manila’s Bilibid Prison, a bad enough place in its own right, they began the nightmare journey to their destination, Cabanatuan Prison Camp. Packed in boxcars, 100 men per car in searing summer heat with no room to sit, they were given no water, and there were no rest stops. Men suffering from Diarrhea and dysentery voided themselves where they stood. Others, nauseated by the stench, added the acrid odor of vomit to the reeking atmosphere.

 

“If a man passed out,” McCool would remember in later years, “he couldn’t fall down. He was held upright by other men crammed in about him. Several men in our car died and remained on their feet until we carried them out when the train finally stopped.”

 

Cabanatuan was, if not hell itself, at least a suburb. Wooden shacks provided shelter of a sort, but the only bed a prisoner got was a space on the floor. Sanitation was nonexistent. An open trench provided the sole approximation to a head. For every 1,500 men there was one water faucet that was turned off every evening at 1900. Food consisted of rice with maggots in the morning and rice with maggots and vegetable tops at night. Scurvy, beriberi, pellagra, dysentery, dengue fever and malaria were rampant. There was no medical care. Men died at the rate of 40 to 50 a day. Their bodies were dumped into a pit and covered by a thin layer of dirt that all too soon was crawling with maggots and flies.

 

A man could be beaten senseless for the slightest infraction of camp rules, or just because a guard felt the urge to swing a club. That was how Felix McCool suffered the loss of one of his front teeth. A guard decided he wasn’t answering up smartly enough at morning bango (head count).

 

Escape was not an option. Felix McCool saw brute evidence of this when two men who had escaped and been recaptured were beaten bloody and then decapitated as the entire prisoner population was forced to look on. After that the Japanese divided the prisoners into 10 man squads. If any member of the squad escaped successfully, the remaining members of the squad would be executed.

 

While Felix McCool may have been a prisoner, he did not by any means consider himself defeated. He never thought of himself as anything other than a Marine: a Marine who still had a role to play in the war. By every means at his disposal he would do whatever he could to hurt the Japanese war effort.

 

Put to work on the construction of a new Japanese airfield, he and several fellow prisoners carefully concealed a large crater with bamboo poles and palm fronds, and then covered the whole with dirt, making it indistinguishable from the packed dirt of the runway. When the airfield became operational, he had the satisfaction of watching a multiengine Japanese transport airplane crash and burst into flames after hitting his field expedient tiger trap. “They [the Japanese] hauled out eight bodies,” he remembered.

 

When not busy as a saboteur, Felix McCool “moonlighted” as a smuggler, bringing in medicine provided by Margaret Utinsky, a courageous American woman. Using her experience as a nurse and forged documents identifying her as a Lithuanian national, this brave woman risked her life setting up a network of equally brave Philippine citizens to send medical supplies secretly into Cabanatuan and the even worse Camp O’Donnell.

 

At Cabanatuan, Felix McCool served as an “inside man,” using his assignment to the farm detail to receive small packages of medicines from Philippine children and secretly delivering them to the prisoner medical staff. Knowing he risked summary execution if he were discovered, he did it anyway. Felix McCool was a man who did not give up. He was determined to resist, determined to survive.

 

He saw what happened to men who lost that determination. “Guys who fold up quietly, lose all hope of ever seeing home and the people they love, and die very silently during the night. It wasn’t the illness or the malnutrition. They would just stop fighting and lose the will to live. The next day you’re stomping six inches of dirt down on them.” That was one of the memories Felix McCool carried with him.

 

McCool never stopped fighting. Confinement under the most barbaric conditions never broke his will. That was a good thing because what was to come would be infinitely worse than the worst Cabanatuan had to offer. That was what he experienced in July 1944 when he was among more than 1,500 prisoners herded aboard Nissyo Maru, One of the more than 100 deservedly named “Hell Ships” used throughout the war by the Japanese to transport prisoners to the Japanese home islands. Nissyo Maru was bound for the port of Moji on the island of Kyushu. Getting there would require every bit of a man’s physical and moral courage.

 

Crammed into a cargo hold with scarcely enough room to move, with the hatch covers dogged down and no ventilation and fed once a day on moldy rice and no water, the prisoners endured torment beyond description. Men driven to madness by boiling heat and all-consuming thirst drank their own urine, slashed their arms to drink their own blood. The dead, and there were many of those, were dragged with great difficulty to one corner where the sickening stench of putrefaction mingled with the suffocating odor of urine and excrement. Fellow prisoner Donald Versaw, a 4th Marines bandsman, remembered: “And the stench! God! The stench!”

 

Through it all Felix McCool endured, doing what he could to assist fellow prisoners who needed a helping hand, channeling his hatred of his captors into an iron determination to overcome each and every effort to reduce him to a subhuman state. Somehow, someway, he would find a way to fight back and by every means he could manage to carry on the war. He would never give up. He would fight back.

The opportunity to do that presented itself at his ultimate destination in Japan. That was at Fukuoka Camp #7B at Futase, and the Nittetsu-Futase Tanko Kaisha coal mine. McCool was put to work mining coal used to make steel for the Japanese war effort. He and other like-minded Marines wasted no time doing everything they could to put a crimp in that several years later Felix McCool talked about that with the Saturday Evening Post writer Ed Herron.

 

“Your mind becomes fixed on one point: No matter how little it is I can do to cripple this work, that much may save the life of an American, keep him from this hell that has a hold on me. So you lean hard on the air drill until the bit snaps, then you call the Japanese honcho, shake your head wearily and gesture to the drill. The Nips lose four hours of production while you go back up to the surface to get a new drill bit. That night, over a dinner of rice with weevils and a bit of mouse thrown in for flavor, you compare notes. What did you do today to screw things up? What were you able to do to make life miserable for the bastards?”

 

“Tricks?” You’ve got a hundred of them, and every one born of desperation and hate. Throw a false bottom of timbers into a mine cart; fill it with a shallow load of coal. The result? Lost coal and steel never made. Maybe an American life never lost. Pull links out of a conveyor belt; throw rocks into the gears as often as four times a night. Derail a loaded train of coal cars, short a dangling wire. Act stupid when the honcho comes to see what’s wrong. Keep fighting every way you can.”

 

Working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, 1,600 feet under the ground in nothing but a loin cloth…it gets hot down that deep…..that was the way Felix McCool continued to fight the war. Enduring the starvation diet, the recreational slappings, cuffing, kickings and beatings by guards known as “Mickey Mouse”, “Smiley” and “The Skunk”, the freezing nights above ground without a blanket, Felix McCool continued to fight the war.

 

After 13 months of grueling labor in a coal mine, on a diet barely capable of sustaining life, sweltering below ground and freezing above, Felix McCool was liberated from captivity. He had intestinal parasites and a chronic cough. He weighed 130 pounds. But when he walked out of Fukuoka #7B in September 1945, he went with his head held high.

 

Time moved on, to 29 Nov. 1950, high in those frigid mountains of North Korea. Did Felix McCool- Warrant Officer Felix McCool- reflect on the fact that eight years before he had been on his way from Shanghai bound for the Philippines and the beginning of a nightmare? Perhaps, but if he did, he never mentioned it. It may have had something to do with the fact that on that day Felix McCool began his second descent into hell.         

 

The relief column commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Douglas B. Drysdale, Royal Marines, attempting to fight its way through to the hard-pressed defenders of Hagaru-ri, was ambushed by an over-whelming Chinese Communist force. The head of the column was able to break through and reach Hagaru-ri. The rear elements successfully fought their way clear of the trap and returned to their base at Koto-ri.

 

For the center of the column, hemmed in on all sides with more than 50 percent casualties and all ammunition gone, it was a different story. The senior officer, Major John N. McLaughlin, USMC, had no choice but to surrender. The choice was made more compelling since the Chinese commander made it clear that all the wounded would be killed on the spot otherwise.

Felix McCool was a prisoner again. 

 

 

The Chinese were new to the Korean War in that first winter, and while they had infiltrated nearly a half million men across the Yalu River from Manchuria, they had made few, if any plans for the confinement and control of prisoners.

 

 

The small remnant of Task Force Drysdale, little more than 100 Marines, Royal Marines and soldiers, was put on the road for a forced march northward, more than a few of them were barefoot because the Chinese guards had stripped them of their cold-weather shoe pacs. The march to the flea-bitten village of Kanggye, not far below the Yalu River, made almost exclusively at night in subzero temperatures, took four days.  The prisoners received neither food nor water during this time. Not all of them made it. Some, weakened by wounds, malnutrition, hypothermia and pneumonia, fell along the way dead or dying. Their bodies were thrown into a roadside ditch.

Kanggye turned out to be only a temporary stopping point, a miserably poor collection of mud-walled, thatch-roofed hovels from which the equally poor Korean farmers who inhabited them had been ejected. After a brutally cold winter, spent on a diet of the inevitable rice…one skimpy mean each day….when even the daytime temperatures seldom rose above zero, Felix McCool and his fellow prisoners were herded still farther north to their ultimate destination, Pyoktong Camp 5.

 

 

Located on a point of land jutting into the Yalu River, Pyoktong Camp 5 was another collection of vermin-ridden mud  and thatch huts from which hapless Korean peasants had been evicted. The real assault on men’s will began there. Physically degrading conditions, as bad as they were, came in a distant second to the relentless attempt to break men mentally and morally.

 

 

Seeing propaganda value in their captives, the Chinese devoted each day to a constant barrage of mandatory communist indoctrination, the objective of which was not to create willing Marxists, but rather to convert prisoners into useful tools through the signing of “peace petitions,” highly publicized “voluntary denunciation” of “American war mongering” and “confessions” to “war crimes.”

 

 

Prisoners were “encouraged” to become “progressives” rather than “reactionaries.” They received no medical care beyond that which a small prisoner medical staff was able to provide, and subsisted on a starvation diet of rice. Other forms of “encouragement” included nonstop interrogation sessions, during which a succession of interrogators fired questions at their subjects for as long as two or three days while the prisoner was kept awake by frequent dousing with ice cold water. And there was always “The Hole.”

 

 

Felix McCool learned about The Hole firsthand when he refused to “confess” to charges of “rape and pillage.” The Hole was just that, a pit that was 3 feet square by 3 ½ feet deep, barely large enough for him to sit naked in a hunched-over position to keep from being speared by the sharpened steel spikes in the lid that was closed over him. Crawling with lice, he sat for three days in a semi-frozen bog of urine and fecal matter left by previous occupants.

 

 

Released from The Hole, he was once again taken before interrogators who repeated their demands that he “confess.” When he refused, he was put back into The Hole. Fellow prisoners called their encouragement: “Keep your chin up, Mac,” “Stay tough, Mac.” For two more days in The Hole, Felix McCool concentrated on the horrors that he had survived aboard the Hell Ship Nissyo Maru, determined to survive this horror as well, and stoked a burning hatred of communism that never left him.

 

 

In the end, after promising him “lenient treatment” if he informed on his fellow prisoners, which he flatly refused, the Chinese gave up. Upon his return to the main camp, fellow prisoners aided him with every form of assistance they could provide. Captain Clarence Anderson, an Army doctor, gave him clean clothes and the little bit of soap he had. Lieutenant Richard “Ding” Bell, USMC, along with three others, washed the stink and filth off him. A downed Marine aviator, Captain Gerald Fink, sat up most of the night with him while McCool talked and talked and talked, getting it all out of his system.

 

 

There were men like that in Pyoktong Camp 5, men like another Marine pilot, LtCol William G. Thrash, and the indomitable John McLaughlin, with whom this writer had the privilege of serving in later years. Never to be forgotten was a magnificent soldier-priest, Father Emil J. Kapaun, an Army chaplain, who risked the most severe reprisals by conducting clandestine religious services and secretly smuggling what little food and medicines he could into the enlisted compound. The chaplain eventually died from the complications of his untreated wounds. And there was Felix McCool, the man who never quit.

 

 

Together they stood fast, resisting every effort of their captors to break them and turn them into propaganda tools against their own country. Together they shivered through the subfreezing nights when ice formed on the interior walls of the filthy hovels where they were imprisoned. Together they formed a bond that couldn’t be broken.

 

 

In early September 1953, after almost three years of brutal captivity, Felix McCool was repatriated during Operation Big Switch, the prisoner exchange that followed the end of the Korean War. He continued on active duty, serving at posts and stations around the Marine Corps. He received a prize for a poetry book written about his ordeals as a two-time prisoner of war. Marine veteran Jerry Connors remembers him as an instructor in Supply School at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in 1957. In 1958, he was the guest of honor on Ralph Edwards’ popular television show “This Is Your Life.”

 

 

But the brutal physical punishment of confinement in subhuman conditions in two wars took an inexorable toll on his health. In 1960, he was transferred to the Marine Corps’ Temporary Disability Retired List, a retirement that was made permanent in 1964.

 

 

Felix McCool, who lived through the horrors of Cabanatuan, the Nissyo Maru, Fukuoka #7B and Pyoktong Camp 5, died in Dade County, Fla., two days after Christmas 1972. Perhaps it isn’t out of line to believe he went to a better place than those he had endured during his two tours in hell.

 

  

For more information about the life of Father Emil Kapaun, Servant of God,
go to the Fr. Kapaun Guild website by clicking
 HERE.

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Father Kapaun medals now available

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Medals depicting the image of Father Emil Kapaun, Servant of God, have been struck and are once again available from the Chancery Office of the Diocese of Wichita.  The medals measure three-fourths of an inch in diameter and have eye hooks for a chain.  They are available in gold, silver and pewter. 

Suggested donations per medal are as follows: 

 

Proceeds from the sale of the medals go to the Father Kapaun Guild to help pursue his canonization.  To place your order, please contact Ann Maley in the Chancery Office at either (316) 269-3917 or by email at maley@catholicdioceseofwichita.org.

Additional information on the life of Father Kapaun
 is available on the diocesen website:  Click HERE