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December 3, 2009

Father Kapaun timeline

April 20, 1916: Emil Joseph Kapaun is born in Pilsen

June 9, 1940: Ordained a priest at what is now Newman University

June 20, 1940: Celebrates his first Mass at St. John Nepomucene in Pilsen

1943: Appointed auxiliary chaplain at the Army Air Base in Herington

November 1943: Named pastor of St. John Nepomucene parish

August 1944: Enters the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps

March 1945-May 1946: Serves in India and Burma

Jan. 3, 1946: Earns promotion to captain

July 1946: Leaves the chaplain service

October 1946: Does graduate work at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

1948: Rejoins the Army’s chaplain service

December 1949: Makes final visit home to Pilsen

July 1950: Ordered to Korea from Japan, a month after North Korea invades South Korea

Aug. 2, 1950: Earns Bronze Star for heroism in action

November 1950: Captured near Unsan, North Korea

May 23, 1951: Dies in a prison camp in Pyoktong, North Korea

Aug. 18, 1951: Posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions at Unsan

1993: Named Servant of God by the Roman Catholic Church, the first step toward possible canonization

Oct. 1, 2009: Recommended for the Medal of Honor

Sources: Wichita Eagle archives,

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