Staff Sgt. Christopher Perrino (left) presented casings from the rifle salute for Col. James Kasler to Kasler’s wife, Martha, during a memorial service for the Air Force veteran at Crown Hill Cemetery on May 16. (Photo: Kelly Wilkinson/The Star )
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indiana native who received 76 decorations for valor and service is being remembered for his bravery.
Retired Air Force Col. John Brodak told The Indianapolis Star that retired Col. James Helms Kasler was the most courageous man he ever knew, a fierce warrior and a patriot.
Kasler, a South Bend native, was remembered over the Memorial Day weekend because he died April 24 at age 87. He was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis on May 16 with full military honors.
Kasler flew 198 missions during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was shot down during the Vietnam War and spent more than six years as a prisoner of war.
He spent the past 39 years as a resident of Momence, Illinois.