- Category: USS Arizona Survivor Stories
- Last Updated: Thursday, 19 November 2015 21:28
- Published: Tuesday, 15 February 2000 00:00
In October 1945 Mr. Langdell was commissioned a Lieutenant Commander, United States Naval Reserve.
Joseph Kopcho Langdell was born 12 October 1914 in Wilton, New Hampshire, the first of three sons born to Luther Mark and Annie Kopcho Langdell. He became an Eagle Scout in 1931 and met Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt while a delegate to the 1932 National 4-H Encampment in Washington, DC.
Mr. Langdell's wife "Libby" hails from New Albany, Indiana. They were married in San Francisco 19 July 1942. They have two sons.
John Mark Langdell, Commander, United States Navy, (Ret.), and his wife Jeanne, LCDR, USN (Ret.), now live in Spearfish, South Dakota, with their son and daughter.
Younger son Ted lives in Marysville, California, a few miles from his parents.
Joseph K. Langdell and his wife are retired, and live in Yuba City, California, where they operated a home furnishings business for more than 20 years. The family relocated from the San Francisco Bay area, where Mr. Langdell represented a number of well known manufacturers.
Mr. Langdell has been an active charter member of the USS ARIZONA REUNION ASSOCIATION since 1997 by taking advantage of the By-Law provision "The privilege of becoming a charter member was extended to the 1977 meeting." At some time he has held every elective office except Board of Directors. Presently he serves as Chaplain. He was News Editor twice. He conceived and organized their first Pilgrimage to the ARIZONA MEMORIAL, Pearl Harbor, in 1981 followed by pilgrimages in 1986 and in 1991 the fiftieth anniversary of the destruction of their ship, the ARIZONA, which was attended by 300. For many years, until 1995, he served as coordinator for the Annual Reunion in Tucson, planning all programs and events.
While planning the 1991 event, Mr. Langdell marked Veterans' Day 1991 by personally placing a floral lei on the grave of each of the 147 USS ARIZONA sailors and Marines who are now buried in Honolulu's Punchbowl, the National Cemetery of the Pacific.
Mr. Langdell is one of three principal figures in the television documentary, "USS Arizona: Life and Death of a Lady" (see right side bar for Spotlight Documentary) which aired of the A&E cable network in 1991 and 1992. During an historic moment aboard the USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL, former ARIZONA Officer Joseph Langdell accepts a floral wreath in memory of ARIZONA'S entombed from former Japanese Lt. Commander Zenji Abe, a pilot who dropped a bomb on the ship. See Mr. Langdell's statement.