American Legion Post 139 celebrates 90 years
By Ellis C. Cuevas
Mar 19, 2013, 17:57
American Legion Post 139 in Bay St. Louis on Friday celebrated its 90th birthday.
"Some 94 years ago, a group of American soldiers gathered for a big meeting in Paris France, at the end of World War I, and formed the American Legion," Post 139 Commander Clayton Thompson said Friday during a celebration of the post's anniversary. " American Legion Post 139 was formed in 1923 in Bay St. Louis."
The Bay post was named in honor of Clement R. Bontemps, a Bay St. Louis resident who was killed during World War I.
Members of Post 139 Legion, Unit 139 Auxiliary and Squadron 139 Sons of the American Legion attended Friday night's celebration.
Thompson noted that the American Legion is the largest veterans organization in the world. He also noted the great work that Legion and auxiliary members from Post 139 have done and continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the local community and nation.
He reminded those in attendance about the upcoming Memorial Day services, which will be held at the Bontemps' grave site in St. Mary's Cemetery and Memorial Day Services at the Post Home for Departed Comrades. The names of Legion and Auxiliary members deceased during the past year will also be read.
Each year, Post 139 members plant American flags at veterans' grave sites at cemeteries in the Bay St. Louis-Waveland areas just before Memorial Day. Also on Friday Post 139 members were presented with service awards, including: 65 years, Noel Fuente; 55 years, Louis 'Bud' Moreau, Jr.; 40 years, Frederick Gottschalk, C.C. McDonald, Jr., and William Moran, Jr.; 35 years, Randolph Bourgeois, Ronald Cuevas, Clois Dedeaux Jr., George Jacobs and Louie Smith; 30 years, Jerry Bourg, Joseph Duteil, Jr., William Fryer, Jr., and William Stiger; 25 years, Albert Benjamin and Conrad Bourgeois; 20 years, John Carter, Joseph Cure, Sr., Wayne Didier, William Harris, Jr., William Hudson, Cecil McKenley, John Parent, Jr., and Author Williams; 15 years, James Blount, Jerry Bond, Tolley Cabaniss, Jr., Jack Greenway, George Piazza, Jr., James Rhear, Orrin Sprague, and Henry Wallis; 10 years, Edward Adler, Jr., Lonnie Falgout, Kenneth Flood, Donald Handler, Richard Patin, Charles Perry, Thaddeus Peters, and Billy Powell; five years,Curt Beyer, Frederick Collins, Jr., Sherrod Willet, Jr., and Carol Jacobson.