- John T. Joseph of Monroeville PA.
Colonel Joseph was born Sept. 25, 1916 in Blairsville, son of the late
Michael and Virginia Tamer Joseph. (his father's real last name was Khouri)
He was a World War ll hero, a retired U.S. Army officer and the founding
chairman of the Blairsville Municipal Authority, in PA.
Following Blairsville High School he graduated from :Indiana State Teacher's
College in l940 and was commissined an Army second lieutenant in l942. After
parachute training he was sent to the 507th Parachute infantry Regiment.
ON D.DAY-June 6, l944 he parachuted into FRANCE as a PATHFINDER REGIMENTAL
LEADER, preparing the way for the invasion of Europe. Later he parachuted
across the Rhine River into Germany as a company commander.
In l951 he was the 8th Army's Plans and Operations officer for Air
Operations during the Korean War. Later he served with the Adjutant
General's office, Pentagon: commander of the 1st Battalion, 511th Airborn
Regiment: CHIEF OF STAFF, 24th Div. Brigade, Lebanon: Combat Developments
Officer, Ft. Benning Ga.
Joseph was on Staff of the commander in chief, Atlantic, Norfolc VA. where
he was in charge of planning for Army operations in the Caribbean, with
particular emphasis on Cuba. He served as a staff operations officer during
the Cuban Missile Crisis in l962. In l966 he returned from Korea where he
had served as senior advisor to the V Republic of Korea Corp.
In June l966 he was assigned as professor of military science at Indiana
University of PA. He retired from military service in Sept. l966.
In November l967 he joined the State Department's Agency for International
Development and subseqently became province senior advisor, Phoue Tuy, South
Vietnam. He served in Vietnam for 22 months.
Among his many decorations were the Silver Star, with Oak Leaf Cluster,
Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with to Oak Leaf Clusters, the PURPLE HEART
with two oak Leaf Clusters and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
In July l978 he returned to Blairsville and served as the first chairman of
the Blairsville Municipal Authorit, serving during the controversial
construction of the new water line from the Hillside reservoir to
He passed away on Sunday August l9, l996 in his home in Monroeville, PA. He
is servived by his Wife, American Born Syrian, Mary Jane Asper, and his
three children, Thomas (who served in the Army also), Anita, and David
He was a wonderful man, and was very very very proud of his Syrian Heritage,
he traveled to Syria with my husband, Samir Khouri prior to his death. He
never talked about his accomplishments to us, however we read about him in
his obituary. Anyway, I hope I have given you enough info to go by, and
Think we should be honored to have him listed as an American Arab. Col. John
Joseph was someone we could be proud of.