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                                              THE AMERICAN LEGION



The American Legion was born at a caucus of the First American Expeditionary Force held at the Cirque de Paris located on the Rue Ernst Psichari in Paris, France, on the 15 to 17 March 1919. It was at the Paris Caucus that the American Legion received its name The delegates of the Paris Causus brought with them the raw materials with which to to build an association of veterans whose primary devotion was to God and Country.


A second caucus was held in St. Louis, Missouri, on 8 to 10 May 1919. This St. Louis Caucus was where the official name The American Legion was adopted, and the Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion was put into final form. On 9 June 1919 the American Legion Emblem is adopted by the National Executive Committee.


On 16 September 1919 The National Charter of the American Legion was granted by the Congress of the United States of America.


The Charter Convention of the American Legion was held on 10 to 12 November  1919 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The American Legion Constitution and Preamble are adopted. The delegates passed a resolution to support the Boys Scouts of America and

selected Indianapolis, Indiana, as the location for the permanent National Headquarters. The American Legion Auxiliary was also formed as a helping hand to the Legion.


The Sons of The American Legion was created on 12 to15 September 1932 in Portland, Oregan, at the 14th National Convention of The American Legion.


The first and only change to the Preamble of the Constitution of the American Legion since its creation in 1919 is made on 19 to 21 September 1942, the word is changed to. The American Legion charter is amended on the following dates allowing the veterans of this wars and conflict to join The American Legion; on 29 October 1942 for the veterans of World War II, on 28 December 1950 for veterans of the Korean War, on 1 September 1966 for veterans of the Vietnaw War, on 30 October 1990 for the veterans of Lebanon, Grenada and Panama hostilities, and on 3 December 1991 for the veterans of Desert Sheild / Desert Storm and because the eligibility dates remain open,all members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for membership in The American Legion at this time.The American Legion is made up of 55 Departments, one for each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines. With nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts World Wide. John Wayne Post # 79, Heilbronn,Germany, Department of France, is one of those Posts.


Today the Legion Family is made up of The American Legion, the Sons of The American Legion and The American Legion Auxiliary; together this Family boast a total membership of nearly 4.2 million members.








                                      THE DEPARTMENT OF FRANCE



Correspondence dated 30 September 1919 and October 1919 between Mr. Reynolds,the Managing Editor of the Chicago Tribune, and Mr. Henry D. Lindsley,Chairman of the National Executive Committee of the American Legion, was some of the first writings regarding the organization of the American Legion in France. This correpondence

 designated LTC. Francis E. Drake as the organizer.


 On 9 November 1919 LTC. Francis E. Drake was Accredited as the Commander of the Department of France by the National Headguarters of the American Legion. LTC. Drake remained Commander of the Department of France from 1919 till 1921 with Norman B. Coster as the Department Adjutant. Department status at this time was that of Accredited Only.


The actual approval of the Department of France ocurred at the National Executive Committee meeting held on 7 February 1921 in Washington D.C But considerable discussions were held on chartering American Legion Department and Post in foreign

countries. Since the fact that the idea of the American Legion itself was born in Paris, France; it was deceided to charter American Legion Department and Post in foreign countries and the Department of France was created. With Posts in Belgium, France,

Germany, Poland, and Turkey.


 At the American Legion National Convention held in Kansas City, Missouri; From 31 October 1921 till 2 November 1921 it was decided to assemble the Posts in Europe under a new title The Department of Continential Europe. At this time there were six Posts: Paris Post # 1, Paris, France; Brussels Post # 2, Brussels, Belgium; Amaroc Post # 3, Cologne, W.Gewmany; Warsaw Post # 4, Warsaw, Poland; Constantinople Post   # 5, Constantinople, Turkey and Garden of Eden Post # 6.


 At the National Executive Committee held on 14 October 1923, in San Francisco,California. A resolution was submitted to the National Executive Committee by Paris Post # 1, requesting that the Department of France be reconstituted that because many of the Post that made up the Department of Continential Europe had ceased to exsist and that Paris Post # 1 was the only Post remaining. It was decided by the National Executive Committee to approve the Reestablishment of the Department of France.


 The present Department of France Charter was conferred on 12 February 1924 with the geographical area covering Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden. The Department of France is divided into districts, the District of France and the District of Germany.


At The Department of France Convention held on 22 - 25 June 1991, in Bitburg, Germany; The delegates voted and approved the Eifel Tower as the symbol of the Department of France.The Department of France today makes its home  in St. Avold, France.








The idea to start an American Legion Post in the Heilbronn Military Community was originated in January 1975. In March of 1975 a meeting was held to establish the need for an American Legion Post in Heilbronn, and to what the requirements were to form a

Post and to be a member of The American Legion. Present at the meeting was the Department of France Commander Com. John D. Holmes, and Department Adjutant Com. Daniel S. Campbell.


On 26 April 1975, the Application for Post of The American Legion ( Temporary Charter) was submitted to the Department of France under the Post name Pilot Post # 79, Heilbronn, W. Germany; With Melvin L. Bryant as the Temporary Commander,and William Bradley as the Temporary Adjutant.

At the 57th National Convention of The American Legion, held in Minneapolis,Minnesota,the National Executive Committee approved the issuing of a Temporary Charter for Pilot Post # 79, Heilbronn, W. Germany, Department of France on 17 August 1975.


On 5 March 1977, the Post Application for Permanent Charter was submited to the Department of France. On 28 March 1977, the National Executive Committee approved the Permanent Charter for Pilot Post # 79, Heilbronn, W. Germany, Department of France.The American Legion, Pilot Post # 79 was welcomed by all in the Heilbronn Military Community,The Heilbronn Military Community Commander gave to Pilot Post # 79, a building on the old rifle range to use as a Post Home. And on 11 February 1978 Pilot Post # 79 held the Grand Opening of the 1st Post Home.  By January 1979, Pilot Post # 79, had received it private organization status with the Heilbronn Military Committee and its civil registration as a German Verein with the Geschftsstelle Amtsgerichts in the Heilbronn Rathaus.


In June 1979 the members of Pilot Post # 79, Heilbronn, W. Germany, submited a resolution to change the Post Name from Pilot Post # 79, to John Wayne Post # 79, in honor of the passing away of Mr. John Wayne and adopted as the Post Motto Individualism, Courage and Dignity as futhur tribute to the memory of Mr. John Wayne.


Throughtout the years John Wayne Post # 79, supported the Heilbronn Military Community Programs with donations, and participation in a wide range of events from the Community Easter Egg-Hunts, the German-American Friendship Celebrations, Community Fasching Prince and Princess, the food basket program for needy families,and the Community Rodeo that was held for many years.John Wayne Post #79, was a strong supporter of the Heilbronn Military Schools. In the Heilbronn Military Community there was two schools, the Elementry and the Jr.High schools; Over the years John Wayne Post # 79, was active with a school award program, the schools PTSA program, the Learning Disability program and held yearly  Halloween safety programs in the schools.  The High School Students were bused to Stuttgart, W.Germany about 50km away from the Heilbronn Military Community. John Wayne Post #79 and Stuttgart Post # 6 together supported the High School, the High School Seniors, Boys State Program and

the Oratorical Contest that was held yearly.


John Wayne Post # 79 had full charter sponsership for all Scouting Programs in the Heilbronn Military Community for several years.Over the years John Wayne Post # 79 has participated in activities with the Stadt (City of) Heilbronn; The Heilbronn Stadtfest, and the Neckar River Fest. The Post has made several donations, clothing drives and held Christmas parties for the St. Killians Orphange located in Lowenstein, Germany, the Heilbronn Stadt Orphange and the Morgenstein Krankenhaus (hospital).


Over the years John Wayne Post # 79 was fortunate to host the Department of France, Executive Committee Meeting once in 1982 in Heilbronn, and was twice able to host the Department of France Convention, the first time in1985 and it was held in Heilbronn, and second time in1995 and it was held in St. Englermar, Germany.In 1985 and 1987 John Wayne Post # 79 participated in the Sacred Torch Memorial Ceremonies held in Bastogne Belguim and at the Luxumburg American Cemetary. Held once a year on Veterans Day to honor the American Soldiers killed there during the famous Battle of the Bulge wreaths are laid at the Sacred Torch Memorial and at the grave of Gen. George S. Patton. Over the years John Wayne Post #79 has made donations to the purchase of and has donated wreaths to be laid.The Post Home was moved in 1984 to the Gasthaus Ludwig Pfau in Heilbronn. It was again moved in November 1987 to the Gasthaus Adler in Frankenbach, Germany, were

John Wayne Post # 79 still make its home today.


During the deployment of U.S. Troops to Operations Desert Sheild and Desert Storm, John Wayne Post # 79 activated the American Legion Family Support Network in the Heilbronn Military Community to support the families of all the deployed troops in the community. Ten Members of John Wayne Post # 79 were deployed to the Persian Gulf area.


The Heilbronn Military Community received notice in 1991 that the three Kaserns were going to be closed down in the summer of 1992, do to the  Military Cutbacks and Base Closure Programs. John Wayne Post # 79 supported and assisted the Heilbronn Military Community with the closures. In July 1992 the Post watch as it members were transfered to other Military Posts all over the world and as the Heilbronn Military Community closed, John Wayne Post # 79 was unsure of its own fate to come do to the closing of the Military Community that it had supported for so many years.


In August 1992 John Wayne Post # 79 received private organization status in the Heidelberg Military Community and today supports the Heidelberg Military Community programs just as it did with the Heilbronn Military Community for so many years.


John Wayne Post # 79 adopted an orphanage in Osijek, Bosnia in February 1996, and started a food, clothing, and toy drive. The Post made a .00 donation to buy school supplies for the children. On 2 April 1996, Com. Scott Brooke went to Osijek, Bosnia to bring the items collected by the drive and the school supplies. Com. Brooke reported upon his return that the children, and the community were very thankful for the items orphaned children.


John Wayne Post # 79 saw the start of the Auxiliary Unit of John Wayne Post # 79 on 2 June 1996, after trying for over 20 years to get an auxiliary unit started. On 3 Mar 1997 John Wayne Post # 79 Auxiliary Unit received its Permanent Charter.

















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