Harold Adam Fasnacht
2LT in 3132nd Signal Service Co : 2nd Platoon
Born 1915 in PA, Died 1993
County of residence at enlistment: Lebanon County, PA
Other residence(s): Annville, PA; Cleona, PA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: unskilled occupations in manufacture of knit goods
Harold Fasnacht was born on June 3, 1915 in Water Works, PA (part of the North Annville Township). He was the 8th and youngest child in the family, with six older sisters. His father was a carpenter and descended from a line of Fasnachts who had emigrated from Germany and lived in Lebanon County since the 18th century. (German was the dominant language in Annville until the mid-19th century.)
He graduated from Annville High School in 1933 and got a job as a knitter at A. R. Kreider's hosiery factory, one of several textile mills in Annville. (The company was well-known for producing high quality socks and hosiery, and sold to such stores as Sears, JCPenney, and Macy's.) Harold's father died in 1939; by the time of the 1940 census, he was living with his mother and three older sisters and still working at Kreider's.
He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, and enlisted in the Army on June 23, 1941. He was called up on December 7, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor. Two weeks later, PVT Fasnacht married Bernice Fourman, his hometown girlfriend, at Fort Benning, Georgia.
By the spring of 1942, Harold was stationed at Camp Gordon in Georgia, and "pursuing a course in wireless study." That fall he was promoted to the rank of CPL.
At some point he must have been given the opportunity to attend officer training, because his Pennsylvania Veterans' Burial Card indicates a new army serial number and a new enlistment date of May 10, 1943.
Harold ended up assigned to the 3132 Signal Service Company Special, and saw service in Europe with the unit during the war. He was discharged from the Army with the rank of 2LT on December 26, 1945 in Camp Shelby, MS, and returned home to Annville and Bernice, going back to work at Kreider's. The Fasnachts’ only daughter, Carol Ann, was born in 1947. The family lived with Harold's mother Jennie in the two-story white house at 552 Maple Street where Harold and all or most of his siblings had grown up.
Harold's lifetime of employment was in factories and offices, but his life outside work was creative and musical. He played three musical instruments—violin, viola, and cello—and was written up in the local papers frequently for his performances at church and school events, talent shows, old age homes, etc. For a time he played the viola in the Lebanon String Quartet, and he frequently performed as a solo artist. He also gave lessons, and repaired instruments.
He was an avid model train enthusiast and collector and a member of the Model Train Association. He and Bernice assisted with the setup of the model train collection at the Lebanon County Historical Society, where he was a member for 60 years. He was also an active member of the Annville United Church of Christ, teaching Sunday School, serving as a consistory deacon, and leading the church orchestra.
In 1954 the Kreider mill closed, and Harold went to work at Bethlehem Steel in Lebanon. He spent 25 years there, working in production scheduling.
He died on May 11, 1993 in Cleona, PA, and is buried at Grand View Memorial Park in North Annville Township.
1965 from Lebanon Daily News
1933 article in the Daily News (Lebanon, PA) about his high school graduation
1940 draft card
1941 enlistment record
1941 marriage record
1942 article in the Harrisburg Telegraph (PA) about his military service
1942 article in the Lebanon Daily News (PA) indicating he has been promoted to CPL
1948 US city directory for Annville, PA
1949 article in the Daily News (Lebanon PA) about his music
1950 Pennsylvania Veterans Compensation File
1950-1993 US Public Records Index
1954 article in the Daily News (Lebanon, PA) about his music
1956 article in the Lebanon Daily News (PA) about his music
1959 Lebanon PA city directory
1962 article in the Lebanon Daily News (PA) about his music
1980 article in the Daily News (Lebanon PA) about his retirement
1993 Pennsylvania Veterans' Burial Cards
1993 Find a Grave record
1993 VA death record
1993 obituary in the Daily News (Lebanon, PA)
2015 wife's obituary
History of Annville, PA