Harold Stanley Bachtel, a longtime resident of Toledo, Ohio, and now a resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, passed away at the age of 95 from natural causes on Saturday, August 8, 2020.
He enlisted into the Army Air Corps (now the US Air Force) during World War II and became a flight engineer aboard a brand new B24 Bomber. On their maiden mission, his plane was shot down over Germany where he and the crew were captured and taken to a German prison camp. Harold was held as a POW from August 1944 until May 1945. This was near the end of the war about the time when Germany began moving prisoners in the "March across Europe". Eventually, they were liberated and he was sent to England to await his discharge and trip home. He was also involved during the Rome-Aron, Southern France, Normandy and Air Combat Balkans campaigns, receiving the American Theater and EAME decoration with four Bronze Stars.
After his release from the U.S. Army Air Forces in October 1945, he worked for the USPS in Toledo, OH for the next 37 years. Harold loved to travel and was resourceful when it came to making and fixing things. He loved to Ice fish in the winter and fishing during the warm months. For hours, he would listen to broadcasts from all over the world on his shortwave radio. He loved photography, taking photos of nature and the outdoors. Harold had his own dark room and would process all of his own photos himself. He loved gathering with his friends in the mornings, having coffee and discussing all manner of local and international news events. Harold had a good heart and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd C. and Beula (Reynolds) Bachtel; brothers, Reg and Robert Bachtel and a son, Wayne Bachtel of Toledo, OH.
Harold is survived by his wife, Joan Butler Bachtel, Chattanooga, TN; children, Steve (Judy) Bachtel, Elizabethtown, NC, Rebecca (James) Bachtel Eagan, Pam Bacthel, Johnson City, TN, Shelia (Thomas) Zdybeck, MI, Jayne (william) Giezie, Toledo, OH, Mike (MaryAnn) Buttler, Bobbi Westover and Patti (Leon) Holt, all of Chattanooga, TN; grandchildren, Steve (Jennie) Bachtel, Brandon (Marta) Bachtel, Eric Varney, Amanda (Don) Polyak, Megan (Mike) Ferrani, Jennifer Ship, Carrie Wright Eagan, Michael Eagan, Erron Zdybeck, Douglas Zdybeck, Daniel Zdybeck, Angeline Bachtel, Kellie Lloyd, Keven Butler, Ryan Butler, Rob Butler, Tyler (Jessica) Pugh and Nick (Raquel) Westover; 33 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14, in the funeral home chapel with Chaplain David Reynolds officiating. Interment will follow in the Chattanooga National Cemetery with military honors provided by the U.S. Army and the American Legion Post 95.
Please visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share words of comfort and to view the livestream service as well.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Attn: Memorial Processing Department, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tn. 38105.
Per the current health situation and the mandate of the Hamilton County Mayor, visitors must adhere to all CDC guidelines, including social distancing and the wearing of facial coverings for visitation and services.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.