Sunday, February 16, 2014

Walker-Cutler American Legion Post 42

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veteran’s organization.  It was formed by the veterans of World War One.  The American Legion is organized by departments ( currently 55 departments, one for each state, plus District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines) and within those departments are Posts.  Today there are over 2.4 million members and 14,000 posts.  

At one time in Delmar, Delaware there were two American Legion Posts.  The better known one was the Glenn Rayne Post #15 at 104 North Second Street.  The Glenn Rayne post received it’s charter from the Delaware department of the American Legion on March 20th, 1935.  It was named after Glenn Rayne who originally was born in Berlin Maryland but was living in Delmar Maryland when he enlisted in the Army.  He had the misfortune to be sent to Camp Mead Maryland where he contracted Broncho Pneumonia and died on October 1 1918, just four weeks after being married.

The other American Legion post was Walker-Cutler Post #42.  Walker-Cutler Post #42 was formed in 1960.  It was considered the Black Delmar American Legion and the Glenn Rayne Post 15 was considered the White American Legion.  Even in 1960 I do not believe the American Legion had a policy on segregation.  Since these veteran organizations were mainly social organizations they were formed with members who felt comfortable with one another in a social setting.   

Little information is known about the Walker-Cutler Post #42.  It has been only recently I have acquired a few more bits of information about it that would allow some type of blog post to be made.  Part of the lack of information is because the post had a short life span (five years).  In summary Walker-Cutler Post 42 had a  history that went from; 1960 filed for temporary application for post of the American legion, In 1961 granted permanent charter for post, in 1965 the charter was cancelled.

In 1960 the application for a Post in Delmar Delaware of the American Legion was filed.  The Post was called Walker-Cutler Post 42.  Who Walker – Cutler were is not known at present.  The American Legion requires that a post not be named after anyone living so these two people we know had died before 1960.  No doubt they were men who at one time were in the military and from the local area.  The post 42 part, I am sure was assigned by the Delaware department of the American Legion. 

In this initial application fifteen names are given as the minimum membership number.  Henry R. West gave his address of RD#1, Delmar, Md as the address to use to send the charter to.  The people listed as members had to subscribe to the American legion requirement of the time; Article IV, Section 1. “Any person shall be eligible for membership in the American Legion who was a member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Coast Guard, or Air Force of the United States and assigned to active duty at some time during either of the following periods. April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918; December 7, 1941 to September 2, 1945; June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953;..”

Those initial members were; Wilton J. Wailes, Herbert J. Smith, Rothert C. Blunt, Othar L. Roberts, Randolph G. Reed, Edward Marshall, William Howard Hearn, Emerson C. Holloway, Randolph A. Hotten, Samuel Bynum, Sr., William S. Carter, William L. Shreaves, Henry Roosevel West, James Catha Gunter, and Clifton Moore.

In 1961 Post 42 applied for a Permanent Charter.  In the application it said the post had 22  paid-up members and it had a possible 50 ex-service members to draw from.  The address given was #12 Hitchens Street(West Grove St today)  Delmar Delaware, which it stated was rented but they had raised $150 for a building fund.  It also stated “Since its organization, the post has held a dance and a raffle.  Proceeds (Net) have amounted to about $400.00. Post also had Easter egg Hunt, sponsored Americanism program and flag etiquette in local elementary school.  Post also participated in “Back to GOD Movement” in local church on March 12, 1961. 

The post officers were; Commander – Henry R. West, Vice-Commander – Clifton Moore, Adjutant- Rothert C. Blunt, Finance Officer – Grayson E. Kenney, Chaplin – Samuel Bynum, Sr, Sergeant-at-Arms – Edward Marshall, Historian – William S. Carter, and Service Officer – Emerson C. Holloway.

In May of 1961, The post gave notice in the local paper (Bi-State Weekly) that it intended to file for a license to sell alcoholic liquor in its club to members only.  It also mentioned the club house was a house at Park Street across from the railroad roundhouse. 

By 1965 the Department of Delaware American Legion had cancelled Post 42’s charter.  It is not known why the charter was cancelled. 

So there is a little bit of Delmar History.  There is still a great deal to learn about Walker-Cutler Post 42 in Delmar Delaware but now we have the beginning for accumulating addition information. 

Altho I have known about this American Legion post for a few years I had not been able to find any definite information about it. I finally contacted Richard J. Santos Adjutant Department of Delaware, American Legion who did not have any information on Post 42, but instead of blowing me off as others have done in the past, he contacted Howard Trace and Lynda Lydick of the American Legion who looked into their archives and found the initial application for charter and the application for permanent charter and scanned them for me.  Thank You Richard Santos, Howard Trace and Lynda Lydick.   

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