John Edward McFadden was born on April 13, 1924 to Thomas and Anna McFadden of Carbondale, Pennsylvania. John attended St Rose’s School in Carbondale where he played football and basketball. He had five siblings. John's father died when he was a teen and his mother moved the family to West Chester to live with their married daughter Mary. Mary married George R. Guss of the West Chester Police force. Gus later became police chief.
George obtained employment at the Acme Market as a clerk. He was a member of St. Agnes Church and Council 1333 Knights of Columbus.
John entered service in the Army on February 2, 1943. After basic training, he volunteered for the Paratroops. After 6 months of training, he was sent to the European Theater of operations with the 82nd Airborne Division.
Private John Edward McFadden was killed in action on January 30th in Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. His mother Anna received a letter from John dated January 15th from Belgium remarking that the family's Christmas packages had not yet reached him. Ironically, his mother received John’s letter Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon received a telegram notifying her of John’s death from the War Department.
John's brother, Sgt. James McFadden, was wounded on December 7th in Germany and was hospitalized in England at time of his brothers death.