On the weekend of July 11&12, American Legion Post/Riders NL01 conducted the Overseas Graves Decoration Trust Fund ceremony.
This event was performed in four separate locations, to include 14 grave sites. Five of these individuals were American citizens who had joined allied armed services prior to the United States being directly engaged in operations in Western Europe and the Mediterranean.
The four locations were Opijnen the Netherlands (NL); the Canadian War Cemetery Bergen op Zoom NL; the Oude Kerk Zoetermeer NL and the New Eastern Cemetery Amsterdam NL.
To visit these locations required members to travel in excess of 534 km (334 miles). There were seven Post members, four family members and six Dutch nationals that participated, four of which are members of the 4 mei Comite Opijnen responsible for the maintaining the eight graves located in Opijnen. They are the prime caretakers and have been performing this task for more than seventy-five years.
This remembrance was to honor the 14 men who are buried outside the American War Cemetery Margraten and the responsibility of the American Battle Monuments Commission.
The men we honored were;Opijnen
SSgt Herman Poling Huntington OH.
SSgt Harold Sparks Alameda County CA.
SSgt Mike Perotta Lawrence County PA.
2nd Lt. Daniel Ohman Chicago IL.
SSgt George Krueger Richland County ND.
Ist Lt. Robert Duggan Long Island NY.
TSgt Americo Cianfichi Milwaukee WI
TSgt Douglas Blackwood Providence RI.
Of the eight men who died. One fell from the plane, when it was shot down, without a parachute, crashing through the roof of a local farmhouse. Even though he survived the fall he died shortly afterwards. Two airmen were found in the wreckage of the aircraft. The five others were found in adjacent farm field dead, in their parachutes, having been strafed by the aircraft that had shot them down.
Canadian War Cemetery
Major Herbert Lambert Cincinnati OH. Royal Canadian Army Killed in a major firefight. Recommended for the Military Cross
Flying Officer Spencer Cook Santa Fe TN. Royal Canadian Air Force. Served 6 ½ years in the National Guard Spring Hill TN., two years in ROTC at the University of Tennessee Nashville. Died on an operational sortie over enemy territory but failed to return.
Private Kenneth Givens Schenectady NY. Royal Canadian Army. Wounded in a major firefight in the Netherlands, was captured and later died of his wounds as a Prisoner of War.
Commonwealth Cemetery New Eastern Amsterdam
Sgt Peter Prime Farmington Mass. Royal Canadian Air Force. While serving as the pilot of a Vickers Wellington MK 1C was Killed in Action along with the entire crew when the aircraft crashed in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands.
Pilot Robert Hage Missoula Mont. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. No further information at this time.
Oude Kerk Zoetermeer
SSgt John McCormick Scranton PA. USAAF (waist gunner) . On 22 Feb the plane in which he was a crew member crashed near the city of Zoeterwoude NL returning from a mission. All crew members survived. John McCormick hide in a local farm and later joined the Dutch Resistance. On 29 April his hideout was discovered by German soldiers and he, along with a Dutch member of the Resistance were shot while trying to escape.
The American Legion
Margraten Post NL01
On the 23rd, Post NL01 Officers took part in reading the names of the fallen at the American War Cementry Margraten The Netherlands, each member was given a list of 250 names to read.
Was an honor that the Post NL01 could show there support in these times. Photos in FB and on Post website.
-John Pope Jr.
American Legion Post NL01 "Evening With the Ambassador" 31.01 . A wonderful evening with honored guests, American Ambassador Pete Hoekstra of The Netherlands, Mayor of Kerkrade Petra Dassen-Housen, Parliamentary Leader of 50PLUS Henk Krol and members of Post NL01, GOC Parkstad, Military guests from JFC Brunssum and NATO AB Geilenkirchen. Photos in FB and on Post website.
We are so proud of our American Legion Post NL01 HOME. We share a building with the Dutch Veterans, the GOC in the town of Kerkrade, the Netherlands.
We are all Veterans Helping Veterans! A Brotherhood. We are truly thankful to our Dutch (and German) Brothers and Sisters for standing next to us in this MASSIVE renovation to make this building a much more presentable place to host meetings and social gatherings.
I am so pleased with our combined results. Both the Margraten Post NL01 Post and the participants in the GOC should be very proud of this effort and our Results.
THANK YOU everyone who spread a bit of elbow grease in this renovation. Photos in FB and Post website.
The American Legion Margraten Post NL01 Home hosting the Scouts Pinewood Derby, see all photos on the FB page and on the Post website.
Post NL01 helped out the Geilenkirchen Top 3 with building 36 Christmas Baskets for our younger troops on GK and JFC Brunssum. We would like to give a nice shoutout to Legionnaire Roy Smith and his lady Lisette for their contribution and help that day. Each basket was filled with holiday food plus a gift card from the commissary. Our post donated $500 to make this happen. Each basket also received an invitation to our next meetings and a one year gift membership. Photos in FB and Post website.
Mark Chernek and Dennis Owens had an excellent evening in the caves of Maastricht where 75 years ago during WWII many, many American soldiers gathered for a Christmas Eve Mass. After the Mass all of the soldiers signed a wall in the cave with charcoal. Today his first time back to Maastricht, 95 year old Don Bertino came back for today’s Mass. What a nice guy. He showed us his signature on the wall along with his buddy’s signature. Photos in FB and Post website.
Pastor Brown visits Margraten Cemetery, was an African/American who fought in Europe in WWII. Post representatives were
Post representative attends the re-enactment of the Waal Bridgehead Crossing in Nijmegen.
WWII Veterans that where brought to Europe by the Best Defense Foundation attended our Grand Opening ceremony
American Legion Post NL01 marched along with Dutch Veterans to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands in Kerkrade
Post sends delegation to Luxembourg Cemetery to meet National Commander on his visit to Europe.
June Post NL01 Legion Riders are formed.
Following officers elected
Ass't Director-Joshua Steinlicht.
Sgt-at-Arms Ken Determan
Chaplin- Kiara Valencia
Road Captain/ Safety Officer-Mike Snider.
Post attends Veterans Day ceremonies at.
-Henri Chappelle (?)
Post NL01 attends
-Wreath laying at Margraten
-Wreath laying Henri Chapelle
We end the 2018 membership period with +/- 56 members, nee goal for 2019 will be +/-64 members.
2017 December/2018 January
Post attends Remembrance ceremonies at
-Spa Belgium in attendance.
-- Jim Brotherton
-- Mark Chernek
Post attends Candle Light ceremony Margraten.
Post NL01 attends the following events
-Veterans recognition Margarten Cemetery
-Veterans recognition at memorial in Hoekswaarde, Oud Beijerland
Post NL01 attends the American/Belgium Friendship meeting as an awareness and information visit at Kline Brogel AB, Belgium. In attendance
Joe Schram-Commander Post BE02
Ray Vincent-Commander Post NL01
Ist Vice -Jim Brotherton
Legion member-Ray Perez
Post NL01 attended their first DEC/Convention. was a very big eye opener for what lay ahead. There was a heated discussion concerning the resurrection of the Post (appears protocol and procedures were not followed). In the end all was straightened out, resurrection and name change would proceed ahead.
-We ended the meeting with Ray Vincent being elected as Department Sgt-at-Arms.
-We ended 2017 membership with 28 members and would be tasked to sign up 46 members for the 2018 period
- Post NL01 was selected to host the 2nd DEC in October. This was our first step we accomplished of building a outstanding reputation for Post NL01.
Later in June (after DEC) Ray Perez was appointed to the position of Department Historian , a position not filled at the Convention.
There was an informal meeting for all interested parties to select Post officers. This would cover the rest of 2017 and into 2018 where new elections would take place. The following officer positions were filled.
1st Vice Commander-Jim Brotherton
2nd Vice commander-Harvey Briggs
Service Officer-Ron Macauly
In May we attended our first large event, the Wreath laying at Margraten Cemetery. Wreath was laid by Jim Brotherton.
A meeting was held organized by Joe Schram and Carl Hale to see how many were interested in resurrecting Rotterdam Post NL01. There were 13 interested members in attendance . Nine attendees would later go on to form Post NL01 Three things can out of that meeting.
- Ray Vincent was appointed temporary Commander.
-Dale Snyder was appointed temporary Treasurer
-A name change from Rotterdam to Margraten was agreed upon.