Harold Harley Hersch, 54, who was killed Wednesday in the crash of his light plane near Betterton, Md., was a Manassas Lawyer for nearly 25 years.

Born in Greene County, Va., Mr. Hersch grew up there and on dairy farm in Manassas. Before attending Bridgewatger College in Virginia, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1950, he helped supervise a shipment of cattle to China for Heifer Project International.

He earned a law degree from George Washington University in 1954 and practiced law in Washington for about a year before beginning a general law practice in Manassas.

Mr. Hersch had been a reporter and editorial writer for the weekly Manassas Messenger in the mid-1940s. He also was a commercial flight instructor and operated a crop-spraying business for several years in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

He was former president of the Dixie Rebels Flying Club.

Mr. Hersch lived in Manassas and was a former director of the Manassas Kiwanis Club and the Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce. He was a charter member of the Manassas Junior Chamber of Commerce and a former president of the Prince William County Bar Association. He belonged to the American, Northern Virginia Trial Lawyers associations.

His marriage to Nancy Lee Hersch of Manassas ended in divorce.

Survvivors include two sons, Harold H. and Stephen D.; his parents Orville and Mabel Hersch, and a brother, David Hersch, all of Manassas; another brother, Kurtz Hersch of Monee, Ill.; and two sisters, Miriam Weaver of Lititz, Pa., and Dr. Lauree Meyer of Oak Brook, Ill.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Harold H. Hersch Scholarship Fund at Bridgewater College, or to Heifer Project International.