A Shepherd in Combat Boots: Chaplain Emil Kapaun of the 1st Cavalry Division

William L. Maher

  • A Shepherd in Combat Boots: Chaplain Emil Kapaun of the 1st Cavalry Division

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Early in the Korean War Chinese forces surrounded troops of the 1st Cavalry Division. Trying to escape—the American soldiers warned Catholic Chaplain Emil Kapaun. However, he refused to leave his wounded comrades and became a POW. His decision marked a turning point in the inspiring life of this young catholic priest.

Raised on a farm in Kansas, Kapaun served as pastor in his hometown until he became an army chaplain during World War II. The book describes the beginning of the Korean conflict and how Chinese forces surrounded Kapaun and other Cavalrymen in the freezing hills of North Korea.

Kapaun’s faith and courage on the battlefield and in prison set an example for hundreds of young American captives. When they were starving he stole food for them. If the men needed encouragement he defied prison rules and prayed with them. When the communist guards mocked his faith in God, the chaplain publicly defended his beliefs.

When Kapaun became sick, the communists denied him medicine and watched him die in their vermin-infested “hospital.” However, they could not extinguish the memories of how he served other prisoners. The army awarded the chaplain the Distinguished Service Cross and the Vatican named him “Servant of God.” This book is a well-documented biography of an extraordinary person.

“In the more than 250-year history of the army's Corps of Chaplains, few chaplains have deserved a biography more than Emil Kapaun.”

The Catholic Historical Review

“A comprehensive look into the life of this simple, yet incredible, man of God. It is a fairly quick read and well worth the time.”

War Literature and The Arts

“Tells the story of Emil's life with special emphasis on his cheerful, courageous, heroic service on the battlefield and in prison.”

Theology Digest

Author William L. Maher
Pages 200
Images 10
Maps 0
Bibliography Yes
Index Yes
  • $17.95

Tags: 9781572493056, William L. Maher