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Harold Stefancic
Courtesy A. H. Mosrie

West Virginia Veterans Memorial


Harold Stefancic

"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

Winston Churchill

Harold "Lucy" Stefancic, as his friends knew him, was born on June 3, 1925, in Slab Fork, Wyoming County, West Virginia to Frank and Barbara Stefancic. Slab Fork was a coal-mining town during Harold Stefancic's lifetime. He was the second youngest of twelve children. Frank and Barbara Stefancic were Yugoslavian immigrants. Frank Stefancic worked in the coalmines of Slab Fork. Harold Stefancic had five older brothers: Frank Jr., Andy, Steve, Paul, and George. He also had five older sisters: Francis, Anna, Pauline, Helen, and Emily. Harold had one little sister named Louise, according to information gained from the 1930 and 1940 Federal Census.

Harold Stefancic grew up to be a successful and active member of his community. He attended Ittman Grade School and then went on to Mullens High School where he excelled. Harold was a member of the 1941 state championship football team, the Mullens Rebels. He was an outstanding member of the Rebels' basketball team and lettered for three years on both the football and basketball teams. Harold was also a member of the Hi-Y club, which was a U.S. social club for teenagers and was affiliated with the YMCA. The purpose of the club was to create, maintain, and extend throughout the community high standards of Christian character. He was also a member of the Varsity Club and the Rebel M club.

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, show that Harold Stefancic missed his senior year of high school, as he enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 3, 1943. He was only 18 years old. Harold began basic training at Fort Thomas in Kentucky. He would go on to train at Camp Adair in Oregon. Private First Class Harold Stefancic later became a member of the famed 32nd "Red Arrow" Division. The "Red Arrow" Division would fight in the Pacific Theater. The first place the division would go to by the time Harold became a member was New Guinea. Harold Stefancic was a scout for the division. The division fought in the Battle of Saidor, the Battle of Aitape, and the Battle of Morotai. All of these resulted in Allied victories.

Insignia of the "Red Arrow" Division

On November 16, 1944, the division landed in Leyte, Philippines, joining the intense Battle of Leyte. Five days later, Harold Stefancic would be killed in action; he died at the age of 19. His commanding officer, Captain Henry G. Taber, described him as "well-liked, a fine soldier, and well respected" and "one of the best scouts in the division" in a letter to his mother. The Battle of Leyte proved to the most decisive battle in the reconquest of the Philippines. After the battle, Japan gave up any hope of retaining the Philippines. Stefancic was first buried in the World War II Leyte American Cemetery near Pinamopoan in the Philippines. He was buried with full military honors. When the Army released the remains of WWII soldiers for reburial, his body was brought back to West Virginia in August 1948, and he was interred in Monte Vista Park Cemetery in Bluefield, West Virginia. The family's application for a headstone was signed by his brother Steve.


The 32d 'Red Arrow' Veteran Association. "Highlights of the 32d 'Red Arrow' Division during World War II," 24 November 2014, accessed 4 April 2018,

Feller, Jack W. Memories and Photos of Mullens, West Virginia. Vol. V. St. Albans, WV: Harless Printing Company, 1993.

"Three Wyoming Soldiers Killed." Welch Daily News, 26 January 1945.

"Two Wyoming War Dead Being Returned from Philippines." Welch Daily News, 17 August 1948.

Article prepared by Emily Pack and Brooklyn Nunley, George Washington High School Advanced Placement U. S. History
March 2018


Harold Stefancic

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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