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John Jacob Steich

PFC in 406th Engineer Combat Co

Born 1913 in PA, Died 1996

County of residence at enlistment: York County, PA
Other residence(s): Hanover, PA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor
Notes: Added to database 23 April 2023
Source: Article about his marriage in The Evening Sun, Hanover PA, July 17, 1945 referencing his unit with details on military service (including dates of European service that coincide with known Ghost Army transport and return to Pine Camp after his European service)

John Steich was born on March 14, 1913 in West Manheim Township, PA, the older of two sons. His father was a farmer, and the family moved around a bit, though farming continued to be his father's occupation. They were living just across the state border in Carroll County, MD (near Silver Run) in 1920, in Union Township, PA in 1930, and in Penn Township, PA in 1935. John managed to complete an eighth-grade education, and by 1940 was working as a handyman at a rendering plant.

John registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 and enlisted on October 5, 1943. At that time he was working as a truck driver in Hanover, and his marital status was listed as separated (though no information about his first wife was found).

He served in Europe with the 406th Engineer Combat Company, and was discharged from the Army on November 4, 1945. On July 14, 1945, while on a 30-day furlough prior to his discharge, he married Edna Mae Lemmon in Silver Run, MD. Edna brought a nine-year-old son, William Fesser, to the marriage and the couple would have two children of their own in the late 1940s: Joyce and John, Jr.

By 1950, John was established as a farmer in his own right in Union Township, PA. But he discontinued farming in 1956, selling at auction his 10 milk cows, 6 hogs, 60 laying hens, a couple of tractors, a plough, a pair of milking units, and numerous other farm and household goods.

In 1960, John took a job as a machine operator at Chisholm Ryder Company, and was living with his family in Hanover, PA. He received a 10-year service award from the company in 1970, and was elected VP and later President of the Old Timers Club (an organization of the company's long-term employees, who comprised more than half of the total workforce of 87).

Later John took a job with the New Way Packaging Company in Hanover, a job from which he eventually retired. During his years in Hanover, he was a member of St Bartholomew's UCC in Hanover, the American Legion, the Littlestown VFW, and the Littlestown Fraternal Order of Eagles. He served for many years as a Constable in Adams County, was a lifetime member of the Friendship Fire Company, and a member of the fire police for Penn Township, York County, and Adams County.

John died on March 7, 1996 and is buried at Marburg Memorial Gardens, Hanover, PA. The Littlestown VFW conducted military rites at his funeral.


1913 birth certificate

1920 census

1930 census

1940 census

1940 draft card

1943 enlistment record

1944 article in The Evening Sun (Hanover PA) about his transfer from Fort Belvoir to Camp Reynolds, PA

1944 article in The Evening Sun (Hanover PA) about his transfer from Camp Reynolds to Camp Kilmer, NJ

1945 article in The Evening Sun (Hanover PA) about his marriage,0.46742585,0.25542024,0.65968305&xid=3398&_gl=1*282mz2*_ga*MjAwMDM4MDQ3LjE2Nzk1MDE1NzU.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*YTA1NWEyNDgtODc0Yi00ZWUwLWE4ZTktM2U4MDcxMTVlODFkLjMwLjEuMTY3OTgzMzE5NC41MC4wLjA.&_ga=2.259668234.1871160285.1679501575-200038047.1679501575

1945 article in The Evening Sun (Hanover PA); he is at Pine Camp

1945 article in The Evening Sun (Hanover PA) about his transfer from Pine Camp to Fort Belvoir

1950 census

1950 Pennsylvania Veteran Compensation File

1955 Hanover City Directory

1956 ad for auction sale in the New Oxford Item (PA); he is discontinuing farming

1960 Hanover City Directory

1970 article in The Evening Sun (Hanover, PA) re his work

1971 article in the York Daily Record (PA) re his being elected president of an employee club

1996 obituary in The Gettysburg Times (PA)

1996 Find a Grave record*g0cxhc*_ga*MjAwMDM4MDQ3LjE2Nzk1MDE1NzU.*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*YTA1NWEyNDgtODc0Yi00ZWUwLWE4ZTktM2U4MDcxMTVlODFkLjMwLjEuMTY3OTgzMzA3OS41My4wLjA.

1996 Social Security applications and claims index

1996 Pennsylvania Veterans' Burial Cards

1996 VA death record

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