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 2005Recommended for posthumous award of THE MEDAL OF HONOR, by petition of the United States Federation of Korea Veterans