Carl G. Fansler was born April 13, 1920 to Owen Fansler and Minnie M. Day in Elkins, Randolph County, West Virginia. Carl lived most of his adult life in Randolph County prior to entering the armed forces.
Carl enlisted in the United States Army on July 21, 1936 at Baltimore, Maryland, and he served outside of the United States during peacetime from September 5, 1936 to August 25, 1938. He was discharged on September 8, 1938. He reenlisted at Baltimore on January 27, 1940 and was sent to the Pacific on May 31, 1940 to serve in the Philippines with the 53rd Infantry Regiment, 51st Philippine Infantry Division.
Carl served admirably in the Philippines, and was discharged on January 28, 1942 so that he could accept a commission, which he did the following day. 2nd Lieutenant Fansler fought bravely until the troops on the Philippines were forced to surrender to the invading Japanese army following the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. It was at this time that Carl was taken as a prisoner of war.
Carl was held as a prisoner of war in the Philippines for two years. While being transported to Japan on the Brazil Maru, Carl lost his life on January 24, 1945 when he died of acute colitis attributed to the horrible "hellship" conditions.
Carl was awarded the Bronze Star and his body was buried at sea. In recognition of his honorable service in World War II, and for his ultimate sacrifice, Carl G. Fansler's name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, and Carl's was one of the original names inscribed on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial.
Hellships of World War II
West Virginia Veterans Memorial Archives Database
West Virginia Archives and History