Joseph Miles Casadevall
WWII veteran, Second Lieutenant, US Army Air Corps, ex-POW, 94
Joseph Miles Casadevall of Whippany passed away peacefully, after a long and active life, on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at the age of 94. He was laid to rest on December 27, 2014 at Somerset Memorial Park, Basking Ridge, NJ. Born in Bronx, New York on February 12, 1920 to James and Cora Lee Casadevall, he was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Ruth (Gookin) Casadevall; his brothers, Salvador, Thomas, James, and Edwin, his sister Alice; and his grandson Joseph R. Drozd.
Joseph was raised in Wayne, NJ and graduated from Pompton Lakes High School in 1938. A Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, he served as a bombardier from 1943 to 1945. He was stationed in Pantanella, Italy with the 465 Bomber Group, 783rd Bomb Squadron. During a mission, on June 30, 1944, his plane sustained significant damage forcing him to bail out. He was taken as a prisoner of war and held in the infamous Stalag Luft III in the German Province of Lower Silesia, near the town of Zagan, in what is now Poland. Near the end of the war, as the Russians were advancing from the east, he endured the brutal winter forced-march across Eastern Europe to Moosburg, Germany where they were liberated by Patton’s 3rd Army.
In 1943, while training in Colorado Springs he met the love of his life, Ruth Gookin, a WAC from Massachusetts. After three dates, he knew he would marry her. He dreamed of her in the POW camp and, upon returning to the USA, he rushed out to Colorado Springs and proposed. They were married in August 1945.
Joseph adored his wife, Ruth, his children and grandchildren. He was a member of the American Rhododendron Society and in 1954 published an article, Azaleas in My Garden, in the Journal American Rhododendron Society. He worked for The North Jersey Foundry in Singac, NJ, then American Abrasive Metals, in Irvington, NJ until his retirement in 1982. He was an active volunteer at the Morris Museum, a lifetime member of the American Legion, Post 155, Whippany, and worked with POW veterans to assist them with obtaining VA benefits. His hobbies included gardening, hunting, fishing, ice fishing, camping at Swartswood Lake and in later years traveling with Ruth.
Joseph is survived by his son, Paul Casadevall and daughter-in-law Lois Casadevall, Randolph, NJ; his daughter Maureen Krinsky and son–in-law Peter Krinsky, Palm City, Fl; his daughter Mary Keyser and son–in-law Gary Keyser, Whippany, NJ; his daughter Patricia A. Drozd and son–in-law Raymond E. Drozd II, Hillsborough, NJ; his daughter Jo Ann Casadevall, Morristown, NJ; his son Mark Casadevall and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Casadevall, Hawley, PA; his son Stephen Casadevall and daughter-in-law, Sally Casadevall, Morris Township, NJ.
His grandchildren, Suzanne Baumann and her husband Ty Baumann, Sugar Loaf, NY; Melissa Casadevall, Gainesville,VA; Kelly Casadevall, Randolph, NJ; Megan Fischer, and husband Marcus Fischer, and Daniel Krinsky, Palm City, Florida; William Keyser and Katharine Keyser, Whippany, NJ; Raymond E. Drozd III and wife Jonalena Drozd, Townsend, TN; Captain Michael L. Drozd, USMC and his wife Kelsey E. Drozd, Oceanside, CA; Sarah E. Drozd, Hillsborough, NJ; Pamela J. Rodgers, Arthur B. Rodgers, Miles J. Rodgers, and Charlotte R. Rodgers, Morristown, NJ; Emely Casadevall, Johnstown, PA; Ruth Casadevall and Holly Casadevall, Owings Mills, MD; Adam Casadevall, Andrew (AJ) Casadevall, and Sam Casadevall, Morris Township, NJ; His great grandchildren Raymond E. Drozd IV, Townsend, TN and Brynley K. Drozd, Oceanside, CA