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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a chapter of
The Story of Chaplain Kapaun

Arthur Tonne

published by
Didde Publishers
Emporia, KS, 1954

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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 p253  Dates and Events in the Life of
Father Kapaun

[image ALT: A partial close‑up of a wooden crucifix: seen from Christ's right, his head and torso and right arm; his brow is crowned with a braid of five strands of barbed wire.]

Close‑up of the Crucifix.a (Courtesy of Capt. Nardella)

"Being made perfect in a short space, he fulfilled a long time: for his soul pleased God."

Book of Wisdom, 4:13

April 20, 1916: Born at Pilsen, Kansas.

May 9, 1916: Baptized in St. John Nepomucene Church, Pilsen, Kansas.

Sept. 5, 1922: Entered first grade of District School taught by nuns.

May 18, 1928: Graduated from grade school.

April 11, 1929: Confirmed by Bishop Schwertner.

Sept. 1928 to May, 1930: Attended Pilsen High School, District 115, taught by nuns.

Sept. 1930 to June, 1932: Junior and Senior in Conception High School, Conception, Missouri.

Sept. 6, 1932: Conception College, classical course.

Sept. 1934 to June 1936: Philosophy course at Conception.

Sept. 11, 1936: Entered Kenrick Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

June 5, 1937: Tonsure.

June 10, 1938: Minor Orders.

June 3, 1939: Ordained sub‑deacon.

October 8, 1939: Ordained deacon.

June 9, 1940: Ordained priest by Bishop Winkelmann, Sacred Heart College Chapel, Wichita, Kansas.

June 20, 1940: First Mass, St. John Church, Pilsen.

June 30, 1940: Assistant in his home parish.

Jan. 5, 1943: Auxiliary Chaplain at Herington Air Base.

Sept. 16, 1943: Pastor of Pilsen, effective when Monsignor Sklenar resigns.

 p254  Nov. 2, 1943: Monsignor resigns.

June 15, 1944: At his own request Father Kapaun is recommended for Army chaplaincy.

July 12, 1944: Relieved of pastorate at Pilsen and Auxiliary chaplaincy at Herington.

August 24, 1944: Chaplain School, Fort Devens, Mass.

Oct. 4, 1944: Graduated from Chaplain School.

Oct. 4, 1944: Chaplain at Camp Wheeler, Georgia.

Feb. 7, 1945: Ordered for overseas duty.

March 4, 1945: Left Miami Beach, Florida, for India, by plane.

March 8, 1945: Flew over Bethlehem.

March, 1945 to Sept. 18, 1945: Headquarters Northern Combat Area Command.

Sept. 18 to Nov. 22, 1945: 198th Ordnance Battalion.

Nov. 23, 1945 to April 15, 1946: India-Burma Theatre.

Oct. 1, 1945: Ledo, Province of Assam, India.

Nov. 30, 1945: New Delhi, India.

Jan. 3, 1946: Promoted to captaincy.

March 3, 1946: Sailed from Calcutta, India.

May 30, 1946: Arrived at San Francisco.

June 4, 1946: Separated from Active Service.

June 25, 1946: Private retreat at Conception, Missouri.

July 27, 1946: Terminal leave expired.

Aug. 1, 1946: Appointed temporary Administrator of St. John Church, Spearville, Kansas.

Aug. 23, 1946: Assistant at St. Theresa, Hutchinson.

Oct. 1, 1946: Registered at Catholic University, Washington, D. C.

May 6, 1947: Requested permission to take Reserve Officers Training.

 p255  June 28, 1947: One month Reserve Officers Training at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Feb. 1948: M. A. in Education from Catholic University.

April 9, 1948: Appointed pastor of Timken, Kansas.

Sept. 25, 1948: Re‑enlisted.

Nov. 15, 1948 to March 18, 1949: Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas.

Dec. 26, 1949: Left Pilsen and parents for last time.

Jan. 3, 1950: Fort Lawton, Seattle, Wash.

Jan. 23, 1950: Sailed from Seattle.

Feb. 7, 1950: Arrived at Yokohama, Japan.

June 1, 1950: Stationed near Mt. Fuji, Japan. Alerted for combat.

July 11, 1950: "Tomorrow we are going into combat."

Sept. 2, 1950: Awarded Bronze Star medal.

Nov. 2, 1950: Captured by Chinese Communists.

May 6, 1951:b Died in prison camp hospital, Pyoktong, Korea.

August 18, 1951: Awarded Distinguished Service Cross.

Oct. 17, 1952: Awarding of Medals "in absentia" to Bishop Carroll in home parish of Pilsen.

July 29, 1953: Memorial Mass, St. Mary Cathedral, Wichita, Kansas.

April 11, 2013: Awarded Medal of Honor.º

Thayer's Notes:

a The story of this particular crucifix, and its importance to the story of Father Kapaun, is told in Chapter 15.

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b As noted in the body of the text, this date, the one initially reported by the Department of Defense, is in error, and the correct date of Father Kapaun's death is May 23, 1951.

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Page updated: 1 Feb 14