|Pvt. Joseph Kapustka served in the 16th Infantry Regiment in Germany.|
Joseph Kapustka never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on January 25, 1918 in Illinois. His parents Joseph and Mary were both born in Poland and came to America in 1913. His father worked as a street car washer and later as a watchman. Joseph had one older sister, three younger brothers and two younger sisters. At least two of his brothers served in the army during World War 2. He completed two years of high school and worked as a cook.
He enlisted in the army on January 14, 1942. At 5' 9" and 218 lbs, he was a hefty guy. He was a private in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division (nicknamed "Big Red One"). I don't know when Pvt. Kapustka joined the 1st ID, but it was in the fight beginning in North Africa in November 1942. It fought in Tunisia and Sicily and famously on Omaha Beach on D-Day. It fought in the Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. The 1st ID suffered more than 20,600 battle casualties including 3,616 killed in action.
By April, advanced units of the 1st ID were in Czechoslovakia. On April 20, 1945 Pvt. Kapustka died of wounds received from fighting near Blankenberg, Germany, which is near the Czech border and just a few hundred miles from his parents' native home.
His grave is at Saint Adalbert Catholic Cemetery in Niles, Illinois.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100