At Freedom Village, Korea, in the fall of 1953, American repatriates (left to right) Capt. Joseph O'Connor, Warrant Officer Felix McCool and Lt. Ralph Nardella carried a hand carved crucifix made by a Jewish marine in memory of Fr. Emil Kapaun.
Months after Father Kapaun died, a Jewish POW named Gerald Fink, captured after KapaunÕs death, began hand-carving a four-foot crucifix to honor the priest who was so beloved in the camp. It took months, and later cost Fink mistreatment at the hands of Communist guards; the cross is now on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School.
After atheist Communist guards made him throw his chaplainsÕ helmet liner in the camp garbage, Father Kapaun made sure the cross was visible in the dump; he and soldiers prayed before it afterward. The liner, smuggled out by POWS, is now on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita.
At the dedication of Chaplain Kapaun High School in 1957, several friends and admirers spoke. Back row: battlefield hero Dr. Clarence Anderson, Lt. William (Moose) McClain, Lt. Ralph Nardella, and Maj. Gerald Fink, the marine corps fighter pilot and artist who carved the crucifix to honor Kapaun. In the front row are Bishop Mark Carroll and Cardinal Francis Spellman.
Many honors came Father KapaunÕs way after the war; Lt. Gen. Hobert Gay came to Wichita to give medals and other honors to KapaunÕs parents, Bessie and Enos, standing here alongside Catholic Diocese bishop Mark Carroll.