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70 years later, a US Army chaplain's remains are found

March 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 44.4%. 2 min read.

Then 2nd Lt. Emil Kapaun, U.S. Army chaplain, circa 1943. (U.S. Army photo)

Seventy years after renowned Army Chaplain Capt. Emil Kapaun died as a prisoner in the Korean War, his remains have been identified by the Defense Department.

Emil Kapaun died as a prisoner in the Korean War, his remains have been identified by the Defense Department.

Kapaun's remains were identified in Hawaii, his nephew Ray Emil Kapaun told CNN.

"I almost started thinking it was a prank to begin with," Ray Kapaun said.

Kapaun's remains were recovered from a North Korean prisoner of war camp and turned over to the United Nations Command as part of the 1953 Armistice.

The unidentified remains were interred as Unknowns at the National Cemetery in Honolulu, Fischer-Carter said in an email, where Kapaun's remains were buried until they were exhumed by the agency in an attempt to identify the unknown soldiers.

Kapaun, who served in both World War II and the Korean War before being taken prisoner and later dying of exhaustion and possible heart failure while in captivity in 1951, served as a chaplain in both wars.

After his unit was surrounded by Chinese Communist Forces in Unsan, North Korea, Kapaun was taken prisoner.

When the Chinese forces surrounded him, Kapaun stayed with his unit, caring for wounded soldiers while they were under attack, a release from the agency said.

Kapaun was then taken prisoner and marched to a prisoner of war camp in Pyoktong, which is now in North Korea.

"They said don't put all your hopes on that," Ray Kapaun said.

Ray Kapaun said he and his family members are still in shock about the news.

"It's been a long year, it's been a tough year, and I think a lot of people are looking for a light in their lives right now," Ray Kapaun said.

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