John Ohley Casdorph, Jr.
|John Ohley Casdorph, Jr was born on September 21, 1921 in Charleston, WV. The son of John Hunt Ohley and Etta Josephine Casdorph, John was raised on the family 200 acre truck gardening farm. Naturally, Casdorph spent his youth working on the farm with the family. He had four brothers and two sisters: Caleb Henry, Charles Lamoreaux, James Firpo, Oscar Delano, Louise Elizabeth, and Rayma LaQue. Casdorph, who attended high school in Dunbar, was a serious young man, who expressed his creative side through building model airplanes from balsam wood. He was interested in flying and was often seen with his nose buried in flying magazines.||
Casdorph in Panama
|As an 18 year old, Casdorph felt it was his duty to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was soon assigned to sea duty. He was sent to the Pacific to fight the war against the Japanese. Here he participated in numerous campaigns. Casdorph was serving his country as a corporal during this time, which was a promotion he received in August of 1941. On December 18, 1943, he was promoted to Platoon Sergeant demonstrating how truly valuable he had become to the Marine Corps. Casdorph would embark on more action in the Pacific including the crucial U.S. victory at Guadalcanal.|
|After roughly 26 months of combat duty, John O. Casdorph, Jr. readily volunteered to participate in the U.S. invasion of Guam, even though he was due for furlough. He engaged in fighting on the island like his father did some forty-five years earlier in the Spanish American War. Casdorph was platoon sergeant of the First Rifle Platoon C Company in the First Provisional Marine Brigade. The platoon was one of the first to go ashore with the difficult mission to secure a beachhead by nightfall. Casdorph was killed by enemy machine gun fire on July 21, 1944. When the island was secure, he was buried in the military cemetery alongside his brave comrades. John O. Casdorph, Jr. is now buried in the Guthrie Cemetery at the top of Northfield Road where he lays with his family.||
First Rifle Platoon
West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history. For more information contact Constance Baston at (304) 558-0230.
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