Fasnacht receives top French honor


ALAMOSA — During a recent ceremony at The Bridge in Alamosa, the Honorary Consul of France in Colorado Jeffrey Richards presented the insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (The National Order of The Legion of Honor in the rank of Knight) to Technician 3rd Grade Samuel B. Fasnacht United States Army in recognition of his distinguished service in France during World War II.

The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon in 1802 to acknowledge distinguished services rendered by persons of exceptional merit. It is the highest distinction France bestows upon its citizens and foreign nationals.

The French people will never forget the veterans’ courage and their devotion to the great cause of freedom.

Fasnacht received the honor on Saturday, Oct. 7 at The Bridge in Alamosa.

Fasnacht was born July 13, 1922 in Laredo, Texas and graduated from Martin High School in Laredo. With his widowed mother passing away in May 1938, Samuel lived with his sister and her husband who transferred often. He finally graduated from Wichita Falls High School in Texas in 1940. 

Samuel enlisted on March 9, 1942 in San Antonio, Texas. After basic and Signal Corps training he departed for England on August 31, 1942 and arrived on September 7. He was assigned to the 124th Signal Radio Intelligence Company as a radio operator. He served in England, France and Germany.

Following VE Day, May 8, 1945, he remained in Germany until October 7, 1945 when he left for the United States, arriving on November 5. He was discharged in Shelby, Mississippi on November 11, 1945.

Fasnacht’s decorations and citations include the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns, the EAMTO, Good Conduct and WW II Victory Medals.

As a civilian, he moved to Los Angeles and worked from 1946 to 1947 in Auto Accessories. He moved to Houston in worked for A. B. Lewis Company from 1947 to 1949.  Moving again in 1949 to San Francisco, he joined Western Union where he remained until 1964, moving with the company to Dallas, Texas, to New York, to Chicago and Allen Town, Pennsylvania. He retired from Western Union in 1976 and went to work for Control Resources, working for 22 years, retiring a second time at age 76.

Fasnacht, now really retired, moved to be close to friends in Florida where he remained until June 2006, when he moved to Colorado to be near his niece, JoLene Bullington, and her husband. He currently resides in Alamosa.