Category Archives: Jack Kirkpatrick

Jack Kirkpatrick—A Returned War Hero

Sgt. John Kirkpatrick of Johnstown, Pennsylvania was considered a war hero on his return to the States. Here he is honored at a Red Cross fundraising event. Caven Point Marine Terminal is located in Jersey City, New Jersey.


Sergt. Jack Kirkpatrick of Caven Point Terminal, who was a prisoner of War in Italy for six months—then escaped and fought guerrilla warfare behind German lines for 10 months, being welcomed by Henry Jackson, superintendent of Western Electric Jersey City Plant. Left to right: Charles M. Wiest, labor-management war production Red Cross representative; Sergt. Kirkpatrick; Sterling P. Henry, Jr., Jersey City Red Cross speakers’ bureau, who delivered principal address; Superintendent Jackson, and Mike D’Allesando, elected representative of the Western Electric Employees Association, affiliate of N.F.T.W. [the National Federation of Telephone Workers union]

Sending Packages to Prisoners

This letter from Colleen Nisewonger, Jack Kirkpatrick’s daughter, contains an interesting bit of information—that families of imprisoned servicemen were allowed to send their loved one a single package of supplies and two packages containing cigarettes (or perhaps other tobacco products) every two months.

Unfortunately, I do not have the detailed instruction sheets and circular that were enclosed in this letter, but the letter itself is valuable evidence that each family was able to send supplies to their serviceman in captivity.

Here is the text of the letter:


16 July 1943

Re: Sgt. John F. Kirkpatrick, Jr.

Mrs. Ann Kirkpatrick,
322 Lincoln Street,
Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Dear Mrs. Kirkpatrick:

The Provost Marshal General directs me to inform you that the above-named prisoner of war has been reported transferred to Concentration Camp 59, Military Post 3300, Italy.

You may communicate with him by following the enclosed mailing instructions.

One package label and two tobacco labels are issued every sixty-day period to the next of kin without application. These are enclosed with instructions for their use.

Further information will be forwarded as soon as it is received.

Sincerely yours,

Howard F. Bresee,
Colonel, C.M.P.,
Chief, Information Branch.

Package Instructions
Tobacco Instructions
Mailing Circular

“A Mother’s Intuition Rewarded”

For this Memorial Day, here is a glad report of one captured American soldier’s return home. The solder is Sergeant John F. Kirkpatrick Jr. of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The news article is one of several items about Jack Kirkpatrick saved by his daughter, Colleen Nisewonger. She had been to this site a number of months ago looking for information about her father and found that his address was one of 55 addresses of servicemen recorded on Luther Shield’s deck of American Red Cross Aviator playing cards. The post is “Dual Purpose Deck of Cards.”

Colleen wrote that in the deck of cards, “much to my surprise, was my fathers name and old address, in his own handwriting. He was Jack Kirkpatrick on the 7 of hearts.”

Here is the article:

‘Back from Hell,’ Says Kirkpatrick After Escape from Nazis

The Democrat (Johnstown, Pennsylvania), July 1944

Parents who are floundering in despair because of soldier-sons unheard from or reported missing or captured can snatch a glimmer of’ hope from the story of Sgt. John F. Kirkpatrick Jr., who has arrived home.

“Back from the dead” is the way The Democrat previously described the fighting man’s reappearance after he was captured by the Germans and later all communication with him was cut off for 11 months or until early last month.

“Back from hell” would be a more appropriate phraseology, the soldier intimated as he relaxed at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John F. Kirkpatrick of 322 Lincoln St.

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Jack Kirkpatrick—Returned to Duty

Sgt. Kirkpatrick, Captured in 1943, Returns to Duty

Johnstown, Pennsylvania, June 1944

Sgt. John F. Kirkpatrick Jr., reported captured on Mar. 28, 1943, in the North African area, has returned to active duty with the American troops overseas, according to a War Department message received last night by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John F. Kirkpatrick of 322 Lincoln St.

“Am pleased to inform you that your son, Sgt. John F. Kirkpatrick Jr., returned to duty June 21 [1944],” the telegram stated. “Undoubtedly he will communicate with you at an early date concerning his welfare and whereabouts.”

The family had been informed in May, 1943, that he was missing and a short time later that he was a prisoner. The solder left Catholic High School in his senior year to enlist in the Army in September, 1940, and was sent overseas in October, 1942.