A big tip of the beret to Mad Padre's man in CFB Gagetown for putting me on to this story about an army chaplain I had never heard of.
Father Emil Kapaun is the subject of a BBC news profile. He was a Kansas farmboy who was ordained to the priesthood of the Roman Catholic church in 1940, and served in as a chaplain in the US Army in 1944-45. He returned to the army for the Korean war, and on 2 November 1950, during the American reverses of the terrible first winter of the war, his unit was overrun by Communist forces. Refusing orders for all able-bodied men to withdraw, he remained with a group of seriously wounded soldiers, negotiated their surrender, and went into captivity with hundreds of American prisoners.
Chaplain Kapuan's conduct in captivity, despite misery, starvation and disease, was exemplary. "He gave his life for those people that he was serving," says Father John Hotze, an investigator for the diocese advocating for Kapaun's canonisation. At the time of his death, he was giving his life for his fellow prisoners... and he was that example of Christ present in the world today."
The Catholic church is currently in the process of investigating whether he should be elevated to the status of a saint. If that were to happen, he would be the first member of the US military to be named a saint, and, I believe, the first military chaplain to receive that honour. Mad Padre shall which this process with interest.