Colonel John Casper Jr.

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Colonel (USAF retired) John Casper Jr., 88, of Gainesville passed away on Dec. 18, 2008, at Gold City Convalescent Center in Dahlonega, after a brief illness. The son of the late John and Sophie Casper, he was born Oct. 19, 1920, in Milwaukee, Wisc. Col. Casper's wife, Dorothy, predeceased him in 1991.
John graduated from West Allis High School in Wauwatosa, Wisc., and took courses at the University of Wisconsin. While working at Billy Mitchell Airfield, he traded work hours for flying instruction and earned his private pilot's license. He also met Dorothy Mae Fremlin, who would become his bride and wife for 49 years. His passion for flying led to his selection in the Aviation Cadet program in the Army Air Corps. This started his 28-year career as a pilot and leader in the U.S. Air Force, where he courageously served his country in combat during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
After earning his military pilot wings and officer's commission at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1942, he was a B-25 and B-17 bomber instructor pilot. In 1945 while assigned to the 388 Bomb Group in England, he was a B-17 aircraft commander and lead pilot for seven combat missions in Europe.
He returned to the U.S. in 1945 and was assigned to positions of increasing responsibility in the Air Force. In 1950, he was assigned as personnel officer to Headquarters 5th Air Force in Japan. He then joined the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Taegu Air Base, Korea, and flew 50 combat missions in the RB-26.
In 1954, he joined the 482 Fighter Bomber Group (Reserve) at Dobbins AFB, where he flew F-84 and F86 jet fighters. Promoted to Colonel in 1968, he became commander of the 918th Military Airlift Group (Reserve) at Dobbins. He was recalled to 16 months active duty in 1968-69, and flew supply missions to Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
While in the AF Reserves, Col. Casper joined Eastman Kodak in 1954 in Chamblee. He held various management positions, retiring in 1986 as dealer relations manager. During that time, the family moved to Lake Lanier where he continued to live an active life until his death. He was an elder and member of Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian Church in Cumming, and past president of the Forsyth-Cumming Optimist Club.
Col. Casper's decorations include the AF Commendation Medal, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Unit Citations (2), AF Outstanding Unit Award, WWII Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal, Air Force Reserve Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Ribbon, EAME Campaign Medal, and AF Longevity Service Medal.
He is survived by his sons, Col. John H. Casper, USAF, Ret., (Beth) of Houston, Texas, Michael R. Casper (Mary) of Gainesville, James T. Casper of Douglasville; daughter, Christine Blumberg (Winston) of Dahlonega; brothers, Robert Casper of Los Angeles, Calif., James Casper of El Paso, Texas; sister, Ruth Casper, also of El Paso. In addition, he has seven grandchildren, 1st Lt. Robert Casper, USMC, Stephanie Casper of Houston, Texas, Grace and Haley Green of Houston, Texas, Matthew Casper of New York City, Marti Casper of Atlanta, Mark Casper of Gainesville.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21, in the chapel at McDonald and Son Funeral Home with the Rev. Billy Martin officiating. Interment will follow at Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville with full Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to DeSana Educational Fund Inc., c/o Roger Crow, CPA, 320 Dahlonega St., Cumming, GA 30040
Condolences may be expressed online at
McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
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McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory - Cumming
150 Sawnee Drive
Cumming, GA 30040
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Published in from Dec. 19 to Dec. 22, 2008