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POST HISTORY

The American Legion
Disney-Bell Post No. 66
Bowie, Maryland

In the late 20's and early 30's the WWI Veterans were having very hard times. In Bowie many had been gassed and wounded in WWI. There were no VA hospitals, no bonus, no compensation, plus the depression. Some were unable to do manual work. Things were hard for them. The Bonus Bill was vetoed, the Bonus Marchers were run out of Washington, D.C. by the military. But something was learned -promises to veterans are soon forgotten in peace time. Marching and rioting gets you no where, but turns the Government off.

It was soon learned by our Bowie Vets, the way was through proper channels -Congressmen, Senators and the President. The American Legion was founded March 15, 1919 in Paris, France and was having some success, but it did not have the membership to be heard loud and clear, so the National Organization was out recruiting. It took 15 wartime Veterans to form a local Post, so the Bowie Veterans recruited the necessary 15 locally, and a temporary Charter was granted February 20, 1932 to Bowie Post #66. It was the 66th Post formed in Maryland.

The first meetings were held in the members' homes, then the I.O.O.F. Hall, then Aaron's Lunch Room and then the Bowie School (which is now Huntington Community Center). In 1948, they were granted 7.6. acres from the Department of Interior by an act of Congress - last bill passed and sponsored by Senator Butler.

Day rooms from Ft. Belvoir were dismantled, moved to the site on Bowie-Laurel Road and reassembled. Over the years these buildings were replaced by what is now being used.

The name of the Post was changed after WWII, naming it after the first man killed from the Bowie area in WWI, William Aubrey Disney, and the first killed from the Bowie, area in WWII, Sylvester Bell, - thus the name Disney-Bell.

In December 1941 a meeting was held at the home of Ora Overholser for the formation of an Auxiliary Unit to Post 66. Due to the wartime rationing, this was put on hold. The ladies continued to assist the Post in all their activities however, and Disney-Bell Unit #66, American Legion Auxiliary was finally chartered in June 1944.

 


CHARTER MEMBERS

Joseph H. Baumann
Jerome E. Charters
William W. Everett
Fred E. Field
Harry A. Gunning
Hans Axel Hanson
Aaron A. Horwitz
Joseph G. Kline, Jr.
Dr. George E. Lancaster
John W. Lancaster
John D. Larson
John E. Luers
Frank A. Riden
Dr. James H. Truitt
Noah F. Wright

 

FIRST OFFICERS ELECTED

Commander
1st Vice Commander
2nd Vice Commander
3rd Vice Commander
Adjutant
Finance Officer
Sgt. at Arms
Executive Committee
 
Dr. George E. Lancaster
Noah F. Wright
Joseph H. Baumann
Frank A. Riden
Harry A. Gunning
William E. Everett
John D. Larson
John D. Larson
Dr. James H. Truitt
John E. Luers
Hans Axel Hansen

 

WILMER AUBREY DISNEY

Private Disney, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Disney, of Bowie, Prince George's county, died in France on November 20, 1918, of wounds received in action. He was a member of the First Maryland Ambulance Corps. later known as the One Hundred and Thirteenth Ambulance Corps, on which he enlisted in June of 1917

 

SYLVESTER CARROL BELL Jr.

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

 

Contact us: alpost66@comcast.net