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
- 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
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
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.