Korean War Legacy Project

Joseph C. Casper


Joseph Casper was born in Auburn, New York. He was working as a printer’s apprentice before being drafted into the military in 1952. He bypassed the draft and enlisted in the US Coast Guard. He served in the Great Lakes area and carried out investigative work on commercial ships. He completed his service in 1956 and was discharged at the rank on Petty Officer 2nd Class earning a Good Conduct Medal as well as other medals for his commitments. After being discharged from the military, he completed his apprenticeship in printing. Today, he is active in the KWVA and his hobbies include farming, gardening, and traveling.

Video Clips

Entering the Military

Joseph C. Casper explains how the Korean War broke out on the day he graduated high school, June 25th, 1950. He describes his travels to Rochester with his cousin who was in the Air Force, to join the Air Force. Joseph C. Casper was told that the Air Force wasn't taking men until later that year and upon returning to his car, noticed a Coast Guard office and joined. After joining the Coast Guard he spent 9 months on a ship and then was transferred to Ohio for inspection and investigation work.

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Living Conditions on Ships

Joseph C. Casper describes the living conditions on the ship as a "different life" but a good life. He describes the close quarters and how men strove to be everyone's friend. He describes the size of the ship as being 341 feet long with a crew of 50-60 men. His ship worked on setting and repairing buoys, search and rescue, and breaking up ice.

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Visiting Korea

Joseph C. Casper describes his recent visit to Korea. He describes the memorial wall of inscribed names of Korean War Veterans who lost their life. He also describes his experiences visiting the DMZ.

Tags: Seoul,Modern Korea

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Sharing of Artifacts

Joseph C. Casper shares photos of his time in the Coast Guard from 1953 - 1956. He describes his boot camp experiences while sharing photos of him and his family.

Tags: Basic training

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