January 23, 1922 (Norwalk, CT) – February 14, 1990 (West Haven, CT); 68 years old
Local address: 4 Talmadge Place, Norwalk
Enlisted August 5, 1942; discharged October 30, 1945
Enlisted July 23, 1946; discharged July 30, 1953
Serial number: 31167283
Born to Stephen Sr. (1868-1953) and Susan Banyai Kardos (1878-1935). Both parents and sisters Mary and Elizabeth were born in Hungary. Three brothers, Joseph (1904-1981), John (1910-2003), and Andrew (1914-1996). Seven sisters, Elizabeth Kardos Bucsi (1896-1990), Anna Kardos Nagy (1908-1967), Julia Kardos Horvath (1912-2009), Rose Kardos Rooney (1917-1982), Susanna Kardos Bevis (1899-1985), Pearl Kardos Worden (1904-1975) and Helen Kardos Bardos (1911-1999).
Captured in North Korea on November 2, 1950, and released on November 24, 1950.
From The Norwalk Hour December 16, 1950
WOUNDED SOLDIER IN U.S. HOSPITAL
PFC Stephen M. Kardos is reported to be back in the United States and undergoing treatment at the Boston General Hospital for wounds received while fighting in Korea. According to a telegram received by his grandfather, Stephen Kardos of 4 Talmadge Place, he is in fairly good condition although he received wounds in the leg and back and his feet were frostbitten. PFC Kardos had been released from a Red prisoner of war camp with 28 other Americans.
From The Hartford Courant September 16, 1989
Former prisoners of war honored
Seventeen veterans awarded medals for their service
NEWINGTON — Stephen M. Kardos never was tortured or intensely interrogated after he was captured by Chinese troops during the Korean War, but he still remembers the joy he felt when he was liberated by American Troops. “I was never so glad in all my life,” he said. “I had not had a cigarette in ages. A private came over and gave me the whole pack.” Kardos and 16 other veterans received medals during ceremonies at POW/MIA Recognition Day Friday at the Veterans Administration Medical Center on Willard Avenue. About 300 people crowded under two olive drab tents, as the Newington High School band played songs honoring the four military branches. Three “Huey” Air National Guard helicopters flew over the ceremony in a V-formation. William Sysman, volunteer services director at the medical center, said similar ceremonies were held at VA hospitals across the country. Kardos, 67, of Norwalk, accepted his medal while seated in a wheelchair. He suffered a stroke in February and is being treated at the VA Medical Center in West Haven. “I never thought I’d get it,” Kardos said of the medal. “I waited 38 years for this.” Kardos spent 45 days as a prisoner of war after his Army unit was overrun by Chinese army troops in Korea in 1950, he said. A bullet had gone through his leg and shrapnel was embedded in his shoulder. Eating only rice each day, his weight dropped from 190 pounds to 90 pounds, he said. Pierre J.J. Kennedy, 66, of West Hartford, told the audience about the brutality he and other prisoners endured at Stalag 4 in German in World War II. Kennedy, a tailgunner in a B-24 bomber, was captured after his plane was shot down over Germany in 1944. Each day, prisoners contended with lice, brutal treatment from prison guards, and a diet of potato soup, Kennedy said. When Russian troops advanced toward the camp that winter, he said, the prisoners were taken on an 86-day forced march. At the time, Kennedy said he wondered if he would ever be free again. “Every American should realize his or her freedom, and that of their children, is the most precious thing they will ever have,” said Kennedy, a member of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Ex-prisoners of War. Edward J. Giering the chapter’s commander, said Friday’s ceremony should remind all Americans that people listed as missing in action, remain in Vietnam and other countries. Nearly 2,400 American personnel are unaccounted for in Indochina, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Abe Homar, of West Hartford, who also attended the ceremony, was a POW for 14 months during World War II and was also held at Stalag 4, after being transferred from another prison camp in Lithuania. He and other prisoners were forced to run 3 miles before they arrived at Stalag 4, Homar said, and German guards jabbed them with bayonets and ordered attack dogs to bite the prisoners. Homar said although the memories are unpleasant, it was not difficult for him to attend the ceremony honoring his comrades who did not return home. “When you see men die, it hurts you for the rest of your life,” he said.
NOTE: Stephen Kardos died 5 months after this event.
Buried in Calverton National Cemetery, 210 Princeton Boulevard, Calverton, New York; Section 70, Grave 2874. Photo provided by Mark E. Schneider, Department of Veteran Affairs Cemetery Representative, Calverton National Cemetery, New York.