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Constantinos "Cappy" Kafalas

T/5 in 3133rd Signal Service Co


Born 1922 in Greece, Died 2005

County of residence at enlistment: New York County, NY
Other residence(s): New York, NY; Bloomfield, NJ; Chesterfield, NJ; Palmyra, VA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: foremen, n.e.c
College education before the war: CCNY 1 year
College education after the war: CCNY
Source: 3133rd Program, 15 Sep 1944; 3133rd roster from 10th Mountain Division Museum at Fort Drum; photo from 1948 CCNY yearbook

NOTE re enlistment record: There appear to be some coding issues here; the version I found on the NARA database lists his birthdate as 1940 (unlikely!) and his birthplace as Russia/USSR. The Fold3 version of the identical record (same name and ASN) says his birthdate is 1894. The original researcher must have found still a different version since his birthdate and birthplace are correctly listed in the roster. I could not find an enlistment record in ancestry.

Cappy Kafalas was born on March 24, 1922 in Smyrna, Greece (now Izmir, Turkey), the second of five children. His father, a mechanic, had emigrated to the U.S. in 1908, and become a U.S. citizen. At some point, he'd gone back to Greece, gotten married, and fathered two children. Smyrna was in an area of Turkey that had been occupied by Greece after World War I. Six months after Constantino's birth, Kemal Atatürk entered Smyrna to reclaim it for Turkey, and thousands of Greeks perished in a fire that destroyed many of the Greek neighborhoods. Luckily the Kafalas family was able to get out of the area, and were on a boat from Piraeus to New York on January 16, 1923.

Cappy grew up in New York, and had three younger brothers and sisters who were born in the U.S. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1941; his yearbook says that he was on the honor roll, a member of the Radio Club (possibly foreshadowing his involvement in the 3133rd?), and planned on attending CCNY to become an electronics engineer.

He filled out his draft card a year later, on June 30, 1942, after he had completed a year of college. He enlisted on October 22, 1942 and was assigned to the 3133 Signal Service Company. While he was stationed at Pine Camp, he met a local Watertown, NY girl, Bessie Best, at a dance and was smitten.

He saw service in Italy during the war, was discharged from the Army with the rank of T/5, and returned to New York and his studies at CCNY. He married Elizabeth "Bessie" Best on May 5, 1946, and graduated from CCNY with a degree in electrical engineering in 1948. His yearbook says that he was a member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE).

Courtesy Camden NJ Courier-Post 1992

Cappy and Bessie would go on to have three children: Constance, Ruth, and Timothy. According to his obituary, Cappy was a "self-employed electrical engineer." The family lived in several towns in New Jersey; in 1959 they were living in Bloomfield and Cappy was serving as president of Prototype Transformer Corporation. They also lived in Chesterfield. And they still loved to dance; the local newspapers printed their photograph several years running attending a "Senior" Prom.

Sometime after 1998, Cappy and Bessie moved to the gated community of Lake Monticello, in Palmyra, VA. Cappy died there on June 5, 2005 and is buried in Woodbridge, NJ.


1948 college yearbook (see below)


1922 consular report of children born to American parents

1923 shipboard manifest (from Piraeus, Greece to NYC)

1931 shipboard manifest (from Piraeus, Greece to NYC)

1941 high school yearbook

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1946 NY state marriage index

1948 CCNY yearbook

1947-1949 records of Calvin United Presbyterian Church, NY

1959 Bloomfield NJ city directory

1992 US Public Records Index

1992 article in the Courier-Post (Camden NJ) re their dancing

2005 Social Security Applications and Claims Index

2005 US Obituary Collection

2005 obituary

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