The U.S. military said Friday it has identified the remains of an army chaplain who was lauded by fellow soldiers for his selfless example in the Korean War, received the Medal of Honor and is being considered for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church.
Rev. Emil Kapaun, of Pilsen, Kansas, died of pneumonia on May 23, 1951, as a prisoner of war during the Korean War. An army chaplain in World War II and the Korean conflict, he was captured on Nov. 2, 1950, near Unsan, North Korea, as he helped wounded troops surrounded by Chinese forces.
Kapaun, who served in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, tended to the sick and wounded among the POWs, carrying men who had faltered on a forced march, according to his fellow soldiers. His indomitable spirit served as a rallying point for the other men in captivity, Bob Wood, a fellow prisoner of war, told NBC News in a 2013 report.
“He was the finest man I ever knew,” Wood said.
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