Category Archives: Henry and Richard Kane

A Salute to Dick Kane

Caption for top image: “Former prisoners of war pictured with former congressman Ben Gilman, center, are, from left, Harvey Horn, Ken Knapp, Ray Mellin, Richard Kane, Bill Stratis, and Jack Grunin.”

Times Herald-Reporter (Middletown, New York)
October 1, 2010

Reporter Barbara Bedell covered this annual September veterans Day of Remembrance ceremony for the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, New York.

The article begins with a tribute to six former POWs:

“Six former World War II prisoner of war were recognized by more than 400 veterans and their guests during the recent annual Orange County Veterans Coalition POW/MIA Day of Remembrance. It was conducted in the Town of Goshen Park.

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Kane Brothers Recall the War—Article, Part II

This photo of Henry (at left) and Richard Kane was taken on the boardwalk in Jacksonville, FL while the brothers were on a pass during training. Henry’s son George commented, “Ironic that the photo depicts exactly what was to come several months later.” 

Memories of WW II Continue For Kane Brothers

December 23, 1986, The Sentinel, New Windsor, New York

Editors note: This is part two of a two-part feature. The first part appeared in the December 18 issue of The Sentinel.

by Linda Fehrs

Henry and Richard Kane are brothers who did many things together including joining the army in World War II. After fighting many battles, mostly in northern Africa they were captured together by the Axis powers and spent well over two years in prisoner of war camps in Europe.

After being transferred from camp to camp they had ended up in Palermo, staying there for about a year. They spent their time reading and playing games. The Red Cross sent them packages regularly, but life in the camp was not of the highest quality. The place was rampant with bedbugs and the men had body lice. The meals were sparse and the conditions less than pleasant to say the least.

One of the goals of captured soldiers in time of war is to escape. And this was what Henry and Richard Kane, along with other American soldiers, did. They managed to blow a hole in the wall of their camp and escape through some tunnels they had been digging.

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Kane Brothers Recall the War—Article, Part I

Richard and Henry Kane, 1941

Brothers Recall Wartime Memories

December 18, 1986, The Sentinel, New Windsor, New York

Editors note: This is part one of a two-part feature. The second part will appear in our next issue.

by Linda Fehrs

It was while they were working on their family’s apple farm on Drury Lane that they decided to join the Civilian Conservation Corps. Henry and Richard Kane were just young boys then and eager to help their country.

Every eligible male it seemed back then wanted to help out and the CCC was a good place to start. They earned $30 a month and sent $20 of that home.

Henry worked at a Gypsy moth camp in Peekskill, 8 hours a day, and later transferred to Albany. Richard worked as a tree climber near West Point.

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The Kane Brothers—Looking Back


Brothers who knew of the hell of war

By Mercedes M. Cardona
Journal staff

[September 18, 1987, Poughkeepsie Journal, Poughkeepsie, New York] 

Richard and Henry Kane wanted to see the world when they joined the Army.

But they spent most of their service time in prisoner of war camps in Italy and Germany.

For almost 2½ years during World War II, the Orange County brothers were held captive in the same prison camps. Today, national POW-MIA Day, they will join others at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Castle Point for ceremonies honoring POWs and those missing in action.

They know first-hand why POWs are recognized. Richard Kane’s feet were frozen while he was a POW. He once was lined up with others and was about to be shot when someone returned a loaf of bread that sparked the guards’ fury.

When they returned home, the brothers felt as if they were beginning new lives. Even hearing children speak English was a wonder.

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Henry and Richard Kane are POWs


Two Kane Brothers Prisoners of Italians
in North Africa

Newspaper article, early 1943, perhaps from the Newburgh News

Private First Class Henry Kane and Richard Kane, sons of Mr. and Mrs. George Kane of 192 Washington Street, are prisoners of war of the Italian government, as is indicated in dispatches received by the parents from the War Department.

On Jan. 19 Henry was reported as missing in action in North Africa, and last Saturday night the parents received another telegram informing them that Richard was reported as prisoner of war of the Italians.

On Monday afternoon still another telegram from the War Department stated that “your son, Henry Kane, previously reported as missing in action, has been located as a prisoner of war of the Italian government. Letter will follow”.

The latest telegram did not mention Richard, and the parents are of the impression that both their sons are prisoners. They are hopeful that the promised War Department letter will definitely locate both their sons.

Henry Kane was born in Middletown. He and Richard attended Salisbury Mills school. The brothers enlisted in Newburgh in 1941. Prior to that Henry was employed on the John Carbone farm in Little Britain, and Richard on the J. M. Coleman farm in the same area. Two other sons of Mr. and Mrs. Kane, Durwood and Walter Kane, are in Army service, and a fifth son, James, twin brother of Henry, is in Class 1A draft.

Henry Kane’s Story

This narrative is based on personal notes and written accounts, personal interviews and several newspaper articles about Henry Kane and his brother Richard. George Kane, Henry’s son, helped to facilitate the interviews conducted between February and June of 2008 at the Hudson Valley Health Care System Veterans Hospital at Castle Point, New York. Eileen M. Fontanella, of Hopewell Junction, NY, collaborated with the Kanes to write and complete the project.

In June 2008 the narrative was submitted to the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center at the U.S. Library of Congress.


This picture of Henry Kane was probably taken in 1941, while he was on leave to visit his folks in Little Britain, a rural area between Goshen and Newburgh, in New York state.


Mr. Henry Kane served in the United States Military from October 1940 until June 1945. During World War II, in December 1942, he was captured in North Africa. For more than two years he remained a prisoner of war. During that time he was moved around to different camps in Italy and Germany. He escaped from Campo 59 (Servigliano, Italy) for a brief period, but he was recaptured a few months later and sent to other camps including Stalag 7A, 2B and a small work camp west of Stalag 1A in Germany (Koningsberg, Germany, known today as Kaliningrad, Russia). He was liberated by the 7th Armor Division.

Henry’s Story

Henry Kane was born on December 18, 1920, in Middletown, New York. He was brought up in Orange County, New York, where he lived and worked on various dairy and apple farms, including the Bull Farm on Sara Wells Trail in Hamptonburg. In the late 1930’s, when they were just teenagers, Henry and his brother Richard joined the Civilian Conservation Corp. Richard quit school at 16 in order to join, and soon after their brothers Walt, Durwood and James joined. Henry says that it was the only thing to do. Service in the Corps allowed the boys to save a little money to help their family and provided an opportunity to help their country. They each earned $30.00 a month, of which they were allowed to keep $8.00 in coupons for their use at the C.C.C. The remaining $22.00 had to be sent home. With five boys away at camp, the Kane family received approximately $110.00 a month. Camp life was highly structured, and the reserve officers in charge maintained the same discipline as military training. Henry worked eight hours a day at a camp in Peekskill, New York, until he was later transferred to Albany.

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A Joyful Family Reunion


This photo accompanied the following Newburgh News article. The caption reads:

Mrs. George [Lydia] Kane of 192 Washington St. is happily reunited with her two soldier sons, Henry (left) and Richard, who were recently liberated after having been held prisoners in Germany since December, 1942. Photo by [Ralph] Aiello.


Two Newburgh Brothers Home from Nazi Prison

By Norma Johnson
Newburgh News [Newburgh, New York; circa June 1945]

Pvts. Henry Kane and Richard Kane have truly been brothers—brothers in boyhood, playing tag, teasing, and playing cops and robbers; brothers in war, playing a harder game of trudging through mud, being captured, going hungry together, and hoping together—and now they are brothers at home again.

Sons of Mr. and Mrs. George Kane, 192 Washington St., [Newburgh, New York] both boys enlisted in October 24, 1940, and have been unseparated right up until now. They returned home last Saturday after spending two years and five months as prisoners of war. Having one son come home after being a prisoner of war means happiness for any mother, so you can imagine the happiness of Mrs. Kane when she saw two of her sons come home together.

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