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The Register

Published Every Friday At Bowie, Maryland
By Bowie Publishing Company

Friday, September 7, 1945


At a recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the Department of Maryland American Legion, the name of the local Legion Post was changed to the Disney-Bell Post No. 66 in honor of two veterans who gave their all in the service of their country.

Wilmer Aubrey Disney was born in Bowie December 27, 1893, enlisted in the Maryland National Guard on June 6, 1917, and was later assigned to No. 1 Maryland Ambulance Company, later known as the 113th Ambulance Company, which was finally named the 104th Sanitary Train.

He arrived overseas on July 5th, 1918, saw active service in the Centre Sector, Meuse-Argonne, was wounded severely October 25, 1918 and died on November 20, 1918 of pneumonia after the amputation of his right leg. Was the first killed in World War I from the district and a member of the Army.

Sylvester Carrol Bell, Jr., from Bowie, was a member of the U. S. Navy, was Radioman 3c. He was lost in the Coral Sea Battle of World War II and was the first man lost from this district in this war a complete story of that engagement having been published in the Register some months ago.

In order to honor a man from World War I and one from World War II the first one killed in each war was selected, and in so doing, honor is paid both the Army and Navy.

The change of name seems to please most people, both members of the Legion and that of the public.

The Post was granted a temporary charter February 20, 1932, with Dr. G. E. Lancaster as Commander during that year. Commanders for later years follow:

  • 1933-1934 - Noah F. Wright
  • 1934-1935 - Aaron A. Horwitz
  • 1935-1936 - Harry A. Gunning
  • 1936-1937 - Joseph G. Kline, Jr.
  • 1937-1938 - Aaron A. Horwitz
  • 1938-1939 - James 0. H. McKay
  • 1939-1940 - Noah F. Wright
  • 1940-1941 - Noah F. Wright
  • 1941-1942 - F. L. O'Rourke
  • 1942-1943 - F. L. O'Rourke
  • 1943-1944 - Dr. George M. Darrow
  • 1944-1945 - Ora Overholser
  • 1945-1946 - Joseph A. Dover, elect

Adjutants during these years:

  • 1932-1935 - Harry A. Gunning
  • 1936-1938 - Melvin Edlavitch
  • 1939-1941 - William E. Winterhak
  • 1942 - Noah F. Wright
  • 1943-1944 - Ora Overholser
  • 1945-Elizabeth Haselden

At the call of the First Fighter Command U. S. Army the post organized the Observation Station and furnished the two chief observers and many of the other observers. The post was in full action during this time with the cooperation of the citizens of the community at the time the Army felt able to take over in 1944.

The Post is now endeavoring to serve the veterans of both wars and has been keeping an office open two nights each week in order to care for the needs of the men and their families. Specially schooled service officers are in charge of the office and are glad to care for such claims or informations as is desired.

The Work of the Post is recognized throughout the state and high honors have been paid to local Legionnaires. For two years the Prince Geroge's County Council of the Legion selected a member of the post as County Commander. For two years another member has been selected by that body as Adjutant and Treasurer.

The Southern Maryland District of the Legion selected a member of the post as a member of the Department of Maryland Executive Committee, which was later confirmed by the State Convention. At no other time in the history of the post has a member been selected for a state-wide office.

In 1944 the Post was awarded by the Department of Maryland The George M. Eckard Silver trophy for unexcelled and outstanding work toward the safety of the community. At the 1945 Convention the same trophy was awarded to the Post again, this time a final award, the post retaining the award.

At this 1945 Convention the Post won the Past National Commander Spafford Cup which is awarded to the District in the State of Maryland which has by June 15, 1945, the greatest percentage of increase in membership over the average membership of the three previous years, the cup to be held by the Post in the District which has the greatest similar increase in membership. In the year 1941-1942 the post had 27 members; in the year 1942-1943, 28 members; in 1943-1944, 51 members. In the present year, 77 members cleared to Department Headquarters. The new Legion year is just opening and at this time there are more than fifty members of record and many new applications on hand. It is expected that more than one hundred members will be enrolled this year.

Now that the war is over it is permitted by act of Congress to accept all members of the armed services even if not discharged. Many parents are entering their sons names as members while they are yet on foreign soil. Before the end of the war, to become a member it was ncessary to hold an honorable discharge from the services.

The Disney-Bell Unit of Auxiliary is also making rapid strides as to membership and in the work they are doing.

Both the Post and the Unit are preparing for a grand Victory Celebration Sunday, September 9, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. Come and go when you please. All are invited. We want our friends there. We have especially invited the members of the Ground Observer Corps that served so notably during the days of the local observation post; we want these volunteer observers to be our guests that day.

All residents of Bowie who heard the service band play at the dedication of the honor roll will be glad to learn that this band will be at this celebration. Come and hear a good forty-piece band all afternoon. We also have booked a troop of 30 vaudeville persons who will appear on the stage in twenty acts. This is also for your entertainment, so come out with us. If we have response enough we will make this an annual feature.

The Place - Cipriano's on the Glenn Dale-Branchville road. Room for all, rain or shine. We have plenty of cover. Follow the signs from Glenn Dale.

Governor O'Conor and Congressman Sasscer are expected to attend, as well as noted legionnaires from the state, district and county. Come and see what we will offer. Enjoy a day of relaxation with us.

--Legion Reporter.



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