No Bullet Got Me Yet: The Relentless Faith of Father Kapaun

Hanover Square: Harlequin. Mar. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781335006066. $30. MILITARY HISTORY
Father Emil Kapaun (1916–51), a Roman Catholic priest, was a beloved U.S. Army chaplain who served during World War II and the Korean War. In the latter war, he was captured by Chinese Communist forces after the Battle of Unsan in November 1950. Imprisoned in a squalid concentration camp near the Yalu River, Kapaun disregarded his own well-being to give fellow POWs material and spiritual comfort by scrounging for food, leading prayer services, and giving last rites, even when threatened by guards. This first book by Stansifer, a screenwriter, draws extensively on letters and interviews gathered by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita during the campaign to canonize Kapaun. Kapaun eventually died in the Yalu River camp, but it had a lower mortality rate than other North Korean camps for POWs, which Stansifer argues was due to Kapaun’s unflagging devotion to his unit.
VERDICT Readers interested in military and Korean War history and faith-based stories will enjoy this book about a man whose simple yet profound piety influenced all who came in contact with him, regardless of their faith or background.
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