Lieut. Bill Funchess, Former POW, Remembers His Friend Fr. Emil Kapaun

Lieutenant William Funchess leaned forward in his chair, recounting a story he's told many times before--a story of harsh beatings and cold nights, long marches and cruel guards, and the friendship of one humble priest. Funchess is older now, but his memories of the three years he spent in the Pyoktong prison camp during the Korean War are clear. He talked with me in his home in Clemson, South Carolina, sharing stories of stealing food and melting snow to supplement the scant rations provided … [Read more...]

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Shepherd in Combat Boots: A Conversation With Father Kapaun’s POW Friend

Father Emil Kapaun, U.S. military chaplain during the Korean War, was captured on November 2, 1950.Two days later and twenty miles away, Lieutenant Bill Funchess was captured by the Chinese Communist Forces and taken to a prison camp, where he was thrown into a 9-by-9-foot thatched roof mud shack.  There, lying in the cold on a dirt floor, were eleven seriously wounded enlisted men.Emil Kapaun, a Catholic priest, died in that camp; his fellow soldier Bill Funchess, a Methodist, became … [Read more...]

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