Those Who Served: K

  • Kahn Joseph G
    Kahn Joseph G

    S/Sgt. Joseph G. Kahn
    Serial No. 36211143
    U.S. Army Air Corps
    May 28, 1941 - October 25, 1945

    I became a training corporal and was assigned to the Air Corps. I later was in charge of a medical dispensary. The most important thing that happened was meeting my wife in the service! A uniquely Jewish experience was attending a service at the Orthodox synagogue in Everest, Washington with my wife on Rosh Hashanah. All the people were trying to figure out which one of us was Jewish, not knowing we were both Jewish.

  • Kahn Ludwig
    Kahn Ludwig

    S/Sgt. Ludwig Kahn
    Serial No. 36229987
    U.S. Army
    December 9, 1941 - December 17, 1945
    Pacific Theater

    I took part in the amphibious invasion of Lin Gayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines, climaxing the largest single amphibious operation of the Pacific war. The Gulf was jammed with more than 600 ships of the seventh fleet. In Luzon, while checking the field hospital casualty list, I discovered the name of Eric Adler who was a friend I knew in Germany where we both lived. It was a joyous reunion to find my friend had escaped the Holocaust and survived the Cagayan Valley battle. While my brother, Ted, and I served in the Army, my parents, being German nationals, had to turn in their radio to the authorities, but they understood and didn't mind.

  • Kahn Miriam Katz
    Kahn Miriam Katz

    Pfc. Miriam Katz Kahn
    Serial No. A205276
    Women's Air Army Corps
    May 1943 - 1945

    My first thrill was when I carried the 9th American flag in the Army parade with hundreds of Army men and women. I met my husband, Joe, and got married during my service. The experience I gained running a warehouse and being an air dispatcher was wonderful - I enjoyed it all. A special Jewish experience for me was the fact that we met many Jewish civilians who became a family to us. After we were married, I would have the Jewish Wacs and servicemen to our apartment for the holidays. We attended services at many temples and learned how other Jews live.

  • Kahn Norbert P
    Kahn Norbert P

    Sgt. Norbert P Kahn
    Serial No. 36202860
    U.S. Army
    February 28, 1941 - October 6, 1945
    European Theater

    In our drive with our cavalry reconnaissance troop (mechanized) of the 103rd Infantry Division, we came across a labor prison camp in a town called Mittenwald on the Austrian-German border. We shot the locks off and liberated the starved prisoners. I assume most were Jews. They were so starved that most looked like walking sticks. In Innsbruch, Austria, we found a fellow Jew who was sheltered by a Christian family for about three or four years.

  • Kahn Theodore L
    Kahn Theodore L

    S/Sgt. Theodore L. (Ted) Kahn
    Serial No. 36257121
    U.S. Army
    March 1942 - April 1946
    European Theater

    On the rifle range during basic training at Fort Devens, I met a young man whom I had not seen since 1933, during my childhood in Germany. He was Karl Kahn who now resides in New York City. When I was stateside, I had invitations on all of the Jewish holidays from Jewish families in the Boston area. I was able to visit my family many times while I was assigned to the USS Wakefield. In all, I made twelve round-trips to European ports.

  • Kane Lawrence
    Kane Lawrence

    Musician 3/c Lawrence Kane
    Serial No. 3067082
    U.S. Navy
    March 10, 1944 - June 9, 1946
    China Theater

    A memorable experience for me was the privilege of playing with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. I played trumpet many nights with a Russian swing combo. A special Jewish experience was attending Friday night services at a synagogue in China and meeting a White Russian-Jewish family at the temple. Because of their extreme poverty, I gave their daughter my gold high school graduation ring.

  • Kaplan Earl B
    Kaplan Earl B

    S/Sgt. Earl B. Kaplan
    Serial No. 36812973
    U.S. Army Air Corps
    1943 - 1946
    Pacific Theater

    From basic training in Miami Beach, to Fort Collins, Colorado, to California, I was stationed in Hawaii as a Teletype operator. Being in service in Hawaii was a quiet time. I saw President Roosevelt at a dress parade there. I attended Jewish services while on Oahu and was impressed that some of the personnel on the Island were Jewish Black people, from New York, I think.

  • Karas Howard
    Karas Howard

    Pfc. Howard Karas
    Serial No. 16158268
    U.S. Army
    August 1945 - April 1947
    Pacific Theater

    I served in General MacArthur's headquarters. My most unforgettable experience happened when our troopship sailed into a typhoon to try to transfer a mortally ill sailor from another ship to ours because our ship was equipped with two operating rooms. They informed us that we would be sailing in heavy weather, but no words could prepare us for our experience. We were not allowed on deck for sixty hours. We lay in our bunks, holding onto their supporting chains so as not to fall out when the ship pitched and rolled. We could hear barrels and crates breaking loose on deck and smashing against the bulkheads. It was like being in a kettledrum. The sailor died before the transfer to our ship could be completed. We did not know him, but a great sadness was felt throughout our ship.

  • Kastrul Hyman L
    Kastrul Hyman L

    Sgt. Hyman L. Kastrul
    Serial No. 36826003
    U.S. Army
    1943 - 1945
    European Theater

    Hy was at the front line, ready to ship out for the Battle of the Bulge, when his shipping papers were lost. By the grace of God, he was spared. Always a religious man, Hy became more observant because of what he saw and what he heard during his tour. He was able to attend services and to lead services wherever he found himself. He promised that if he got home safely, he would lay tefillin daily. Needless to say, he did it with such meaning and feeling. Hy did not get back home until our son was over a year old. What a celebration that was! Submitted by Mrs. Hy Kastrul

  • Kastrul Sidney
    Kastrul Sidney

    Pvt. Sidney Kastrul
    Serial No. 16092223
    U.S. Army
    June 1942 - February 1946
    European Theater

    Four national anthems - French, English, Russian, and American - started the services at the synagogue I attended in Nice, France in September, 1945. I sang the "Star Spangled Banner" with great enthusiasm and took part in the service which was conducted in Hebrew and French. At that Friday service I met Monsieur Peres Baboni. He invited me to his home for a Shabbat dinner and to meet his family. It was a memorable experience.

  • Katz Lee
    Katz Lee

    Pfc. Lee Katz
    Serial No. 36805863
    U.S. Army
    1942 - 1945
    European Theater

    While in the German-French region of Alsace Lorraine, we were present at the liberation of prisoners at a concentration camp. I spoke with several of those Jewish prisoners. I have never forgotten.

  • Katz Matty S
    Katz Matty S

    Cpl. Matty S. Katz
    Serial No. 16192575
    U.S. Army Air Corps
    February 1944 - March 1946

    I entered the Air Corps 1 1/2 months after I turned 18. It was a different life for me - basic training in Miami Beach, firing a gun, army discipline and food. They decided to train me as a radar mechanic and sent me to school at Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin; Chanute Field, Champaign, Illinois, and Boca Raton Air Base in Florida. Along the way, I had my Appendix removed by a doctor whose name was Butcher. I participated in holiday celebrations with the local Jewish community and attended services at local synagogues. I even found out that Monroe, Louisiana, had a Jewish mayor and a very friendly Jewish community. I was discharged 26 months later in March of 1946.

  • Kaufman Joe E
    Kaufman Joe E

    Tech 4th Grade Joe N. Kaufman
    Serial No. 36961336
    U. S. Army
    March 1944 - June 1946
    European Theater

    A memorable experience occurred while on detached service in South Hampton, England, when I met General Bradley. I met Abe Chudnow, a friend, in Antwerp, Belgium. We were invited to a Belgian Jewish wedding. The Jewish couple belonged to a Zionist group called Hashomer Hatzair, a group I was familiar with here in Milwaukee in my growing up years.

  • Kaufman Lawrence
    Kaufman Lawrence

    Capt. Lawrence W. Kaufman, M.D.
    U. S. Army
    Pacific Theater

    Larry carried this picture throughout WWII of his daughter, Dale, and her dolly. He and his wife, Charlotte, called the photo "Daley Longlegs." His first born is Lance, and Suzanne was born after WWII. Why was Dr. Kaufman so popular on board ship? Because as the physician he held the keys to the liquor cabinet. When his ship docked off shore, the soldiers carried him to land. He was in Bouganville Island in the South Pacific, and the Philippines. Chaplain Samuel Chomsky of Los Angeles led services when he toured the Pacific area in 1945. The "boys" from New York in the unit led services and he said that they were just like Rabbis and led the services beautifully. He and other physicians took care of POWs. He said, "We couldn't do enough for these guys." In his spare time he caught butterflies for a collector from Milwaukee State Teachers College (now UW-M). As the head of a clinic, he was proud of the young soldiers in his charge, many who used the GI Bill to become physicians.

  • Kendall Ralph L

    Sgt. Ralph L. Kendall
    Serial No. 16155673
    1941 - 1945
    Pacific Theater

    I was stationed on one of the Admiral Islands out in the South Pacific and conditions were a little tough. One day, an LST (Landing Ship Tank) pulled into our dock. We all gathered around to welcome the visitors. I almost fell over when aKendall Ralph Ln old buddy from Milwaukee, Stan Wiener, came down the gangplank and we saw each other. I was invited to dine with officers from the ship - an experience much different than eating from a mess kit on the island. Being Jewish in the service was unique. All of my friends thought I was kidding when I asked to attend Friday night services - "You're Jewish?"

  • Kissel Leo
    Kissel Leo

    T/Sgt. Leo Kissel
    Serial No. 36817104
    U.S. Army
    April 22, 1943 - January 10, 1946

    I promoted "It's the McCoy" for a war bond show in the Milwaukee Auditorium. Also, I edited "The Real McCoy", the Camp McCoy newspaper, and I interviewed several generals and such stars as Bob Byerly, Buddy Clark, Dick Barstow and Mickey Sharp. I attended a Seder in a mess hall which was packed with the 76th Infantry Division whose members were mostly Jewish, as they came from New York and New Jersey.

  • Kohlenberg Sidney
    Kohlenberg Sidney

    PHOM 1/c Sidney Kohlenberg
    Serial No. 3062677
    U.S. Navy
    February 1943 - February 1946

    I was involved in making relief maps for the European Theater and Japan in preparation for the invasion of both. In my office is a model of a relief map of Japan and the encampment of Angur Island of the Palalo group. When my friend, Jerry Binder, saw this map, he said he was one of the GIs who invaded. I had a close relationship with the Jewish community in Norfolk, especially with the Kruken family, with whom I spent Passover.

  • Kohler Jacob J
    Kohler Jacob J

    S/Sgt. Jacob J. Kohler
    Serial No. 36243091
    January 1942 - June 1946

    I was in the physical training department in charge of a gymnasium in Kerns, Utah. The unit covered fifteen air bases. I played in a baseball tournament in Santa Barbara, California honoring the memory of Joe E. Brown's son who died while serving in the Air Corps.

  • Kohn Joe
    Kohn Joe

    M/Sgt. Joe Kohn
    Serial No. 36242672
    U.S. Army
    May 28, 1942 - November 13, 1945
    European, African Theater

    On February 3, 1943, while en route to Greenland, we were torpedoed by a German submarine in the North Atlantic. Our ship was the "Dorchester" which carried about 900 men of whom more than 600 perished. 250-300 were saved. There were four chaplains on board, including a Jewish chaplain. They all lost their lives. I had a uniquely Jewish experience when I participated in a Seder in Greenland. I also attended High Holiday services in different cities and was a guest of Jewish families for dinners.

  • Kohn Lucile M
    Kohn Lucile M

    1st Lt. Lucile M. Kohn
    Serial No. N768722
    U.S. Army

    Lucile was in charge of neuro-psychiatric wards during the war.

  • Kolmas Harry R
    Kolmas Harry R

    Harry R. Kolmas
    U.S. Navy

    Harry Kolmas served in the U. S. Navy as an ensign for three years. He was discharged in 1944.

  • Komisar Bernard E
    Komisar Bernard E

    T/5 Bernard E. Komisar
    Serial No. 36822811
    U.S. Army
    June 14, 1943 - March 14, 1946
    European Theater

    I had a memorable tour of duty which included participating in the Battle of the Bulge; being in combat at the tender age of 19; freeing people in a displaced persons camp which included Jews. A special experience for me was helping a poor Jewish refugee who recognized me as a Jew because of my Jewish words and using my Jewish knowledge in questioning Germans. My parents had three sons in service at the same time. How happy they were when we all came home alive.

  • Koppel Erwin
    Koppel Erwin

    Lt. Erwin Koppel
    U.S. Army Air Corps
    1943 - 1945
    European Theater

    My father remembers the week of December 23, 1944. The Eighth Air Force attacked the German supply lines with bombers (very unusual deployment for bombers). His plane was shot up on the 25th, and that was where he got his Purple Heart - a piece of flak through the shoulder, which he always referred to as "my Xmas present from the Germans." (He still has the piece of flak in his collection as a souvenir.) He said, "Yes, I remember it well, but that was a long time ago - now just history to most. Had that piece of flak hit 12 inches over, there would have been no Steve for Wendy. Submitted by Steven Koppel, son

  • Kops Simon
    Kops Simon

    Simon Kops
    U.S. Army
    European Theater

    War was not the heroic bravado of the Hollywood-John Wayne genre. The real war was dirty, lonely, cold, warm and then cold again. I fought in the Battle of the Bulge. When the war ended there were thousands of Germans going north while the U. S. Army was going south. My best experience was when I found my brother-in-law in a bunker on the Maiginot line. After the war, at the first service in an Augsberg synagogue, which had been used as a stable by the Nazis, two inmates from Dachau participated in the service.

  • Kozak Sidney
    Kozak Sidney

    Capt. Sidney Kozak
    U.S. Army
    European Theater

    In December 1944, our company had taken possession of a four-story schoolhouse to use as a temporary emergency hospital for our wounded. Ambulances were lined up a hundred or more deep, bringing freshly wounded. Many of our casualties were from the unit of my younger brother, Bill. Our family at home had been writing of their concern about him. The Battle of the Bulge had begun. Atrocities which were occurring in Malmedy were barely a mile from us when the Germans machine-gunned 100 American prisoners of war. As I was supervising and facilitating evacuations, ambulances kept backing up to the entrance. In the midst of this chaos, a grimy infantryman approached me and held out his hand. My response was, "Out of my way, bud. I'm busy!" He remained with my hand out and I realized it was my little brother, Bill. We threw our arms around each other with tears rolling down our cheeks. This episode was probably the most heartwarming and memorable of my 4-1/2 years in the service.

  • Krasno Eugene
    Krasno Eugene

    1st Lt. Eugene Krasno
    Serial No. 02060310
    U.S. Army Air Corps
    1942 - 1945
    European Theater

    Our aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft flak on our first combat flight. We made it back to our base. The plane was damaged so badly it had to be scrapped. A uniquely Jewish experience was celebrating Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur aboard a troop transport en route to Italy. During the war, my mother was very active volunteering for the Jewish War Veterans.

  • Kruglak Bernard
    Kruglak Bernard

    S/Sgt. Bernard Kruglak
    Serial No. 36239848
    U.S. Army
    April 1942 - October 1945
    African Theater

    A memorable experience for my father during his tour of duty was when he spent a furlough in Palestine. Also, he felt very fortunate to have attended a Seder in Capetown, South Africa, where he was stationed.

    Submitted by Fredlyn Viel,

  • Krugly Yakov
    Krugly Yakov

    Sgt. Yakov Krugly (middle)

    Yakov Krugly was a senior sergeant in the artillery brigade of general headquarters. He and his comrades-in-arms (shown above) took part in many of the major battles. Some of the most important are the famous battles of Kursk, Bielgrorod and Orel in July of 1943, and the liberation of Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, November 1943. In the battle of Kiev, his gun squad destroyed three German tanks; for that he was awarded an order. Submitted by Revmir Kanevsky Translated by Rina Petrov