Welcome to the official website of American Legion Post #137 located in Tonopah, Arizona.
In 2010 eight members met to discuss the possibility of forming a new American Legion Post in the Tonopah, Arizona area. These founding members, lead by Tom Sloan, were Joe Frame, Derrick Clements, Trish Thompson, Dick Tomkins, Kevin Widner, Loyd Huehns and Bud Williams. They met for a number of months working out a strategy for filling the necessary paper work to meet the requirements for establishing a new post in Tonopah, as well as meeting the requirements for the Arizona State American Legion and the National American legion.
In the first part of 2011 all paper work had been filed and requirements met. The founding members then submitted into the State and National American Legion requesting a Charter for a newly formed American Legion here in Tonopah. A temporary Charter was present to us on June 28, 2011 by the Arizona American Legion State Commander George Cushing. We were officially named the Tonopah American Legion, Post 137, Tonopah, Arizona.
March 5th, 2011 was a historical day in Tonopah, Arizona. The newly formed American Legion Post 137 received its permanent charter and name change from the National American Legion. The post henceforth was named the Isaiah Mays-Bill Mauldin Post 137. This name honors two American military heroes, whose gallantry and courage helped preserve our freedom. It is believed this American Legion post is the only one in America that is named for a Medal of Honor Buffalo Soldier recipient, Isaiah Mays.
Over two hundred people attended this presentation, which was held at the Saddle Mountain RV Park Club House in Tonopah. The celebration began with a two hour meet and greet where the guests and members could visit with each other and view the dozens of pictures, posters, and military memorabilia that were on display. Refreshments were served by a JR ROTC student Lisa Roush and lunch was offered by the Freedom Fire Truck.
The guests included state representatives, the Honorable Trent Franks, Chaz Jackson, president and founder of the Arizona Buffalo Soldier Riders, Tuskegee Airman David Tolliver, Past Legion Commander Henry Branch, Old Guard Rider Ronald (Ron) Eppich and the 9th Cavalry, Bill Curtiss.
David Hampton from Governor Brewer’s office presented the post with a proclamation signed by Governor Brewer declaring March 5th as Isaiah Mays-Bill Mauldin Post 137 day. Musical tributes were provided by Sheila Neal, Lloyd Huehns, Howard Hilliard, Mike Malcolm, and Ted Baker. The colors were posted by the Army National Guard Color Guard and the closing invocation was done by Chaplin Cicchetti.
Under the leadership of Tom Sloan, Post Commander Post #137, the officers and the Executive Board established a set of goals for serving the local community, fellow veterans, as well as the children and youth.
This post established a number of programs for the community: Some of the programs the Post is currently involved with today are:
The Isaiah Mays-Bill Mauldin American Legion Post 137 also raises money for the different programs and projects by hosting yard sales, holding raffles, and collecting donations. All collected money return to the community in some form or another.
On the veteran’s side for post involvement we have testified in front of the V.A. Commissioners both on the state and federal level about numerous issues involving:
A motto was established for Post 137:
"WE SERVED OUR COUNTRY NOW SERVING OUR COMMUNITY"
Mays was born into slavery in Virginia. He joined the Army from Columbus Barracks, Ohio, and by May 11, 1889 was serving as a corporal in Company B of the 24th Infantry Regiment. On that day, he was involved with an engagement with robbers in Arizona. The next year, on February 19, 1890, Mays was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the engagement. After leaving the Army in 1893, Mays worked as a laborer in Arizona and New Mexico. He applied for a federal pension in 1922, but was denied. He entered the Territorial Insane Asylum (now known as the Arizona State Hospital) in Phoenix, which housed not only the mentally ill but also people with tuberculosis and those living in poverty. He died at the hospital in 1925, at age 67, and was buried in the adjoining cemetery. His grave was marked with only a small stone block, etched with a number. In 2001, the marker was replaced with an official U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs headstone which stated his name, service history, and his status as a Medal of Honor recipient. Eight years later,in March 2009 under the care of the Old Guard Riders Inc., Cpl Mays' remains were disinterred, cremated and placed in an urn designed especially for him. On 29 May 2009, in a ceremony befitting a Medal of Honor recipient, Cpl Mays was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
Gallantry in the fight between Paymaster Wham's escort and robbers. Mays walked and crawled 2 miles to a ranch for help
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and Organization: Corporal,
Company B, 24th U.S. Infantry
. Place and Date: Arizona, 11 May 1889. Entered Service At: Columbus Barracks, Ohio.
Born: 16 February 1858, Carters Bridge, Va.
Date of Issue: 19 February 1890.
William Henry "Bill" Mauldin (October 29, 1921 – January 22, 2003) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist from the United States. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons depicting American soldiers, as represented by the archetypal characters "Willie and Joe", two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field. These cartoons were broadly published and distributed in the American army abroad and in the United States.
While in the 45th Infantry Division, Mauldin volunteered to work for the unit's newspaper, drawing cartoons about regular soldiers or "dogfaces". Eventually he created two cartoon infantrymen, Willie (who was modeled after his comrade and friend Irving Richtel) and Joe, who became synonymous with the average American GI.
During July 1943, Mauldin's cartoon work continued when, as a sergeant of the 45th Division's press corps, he landed with the division in the invasion of Sicily and later in the Italian campaign. Mauldin began working for Stars and Stripes, the American soldiers' newspaper; as well as the 45th Division News, until he was officially transferred to the Stars and Stripes in February 1944. By March 1944, he was given his own jeep, in which he roamed the front, collecting material and producing six cartoons a week. His cartoons were viewed by soldiers throughout Europe during World War II, and were also published in the United States. The War Office supported their syndication, not only because they helped publicize the ground forces but also to show the grim and bitter side of war, which helped show that victory would not be easy. Willie was on the cover of Time Magazine in the June 18, 1945 issue, and Mauldin himself made the cover in the July 21, 1961 issue. While in Europe, Mauldin befriended a fellow soldier-cartoonist, Gregor Duncan, and was assigned to escort him for a time. (Duncan was killed in Anzio in May 1944.)
Those officers who had served in the army before the war were generally offended by Mauldin, who parodied the spit-shine and obedience-to-order-without-question view that was more easily maintained during that time of peace. General George Patton once summoned Mauldin to his office and threatened to "throw his ass in jail" for "spreading dissent," this after one of Mauldin's cartoons made fun of Patton's demand that all soldiers must be clean-shaven at all times, even in combat. But Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander European Theater, told Patton to leave Mauldin alone, because he felt that Mauldin's cartoons gave the soldiers an outlet for their frustrations. Mauldin told an interviewer later, "I always admired Patton. Oh, sure, the stupid bastard was crazy. He was insane. He thought he was living in the Dark Ages. Soldiers were peasants to him. I didn't like that attitude, but I certainly respected his theories and the techniques he used to get his men out of their foxholes."
Mauldin's cartoons made him a hero to the common soldier. GIs often credited him with helping them to get through the rigors of the war. His credibility with the common soldier increased in September 1943, when he was wounded in the shoulder by a German mortar while visiting a machine gun crew near Monte Cassino. By the end of the war he also received the Army's Legion of Merit for his cartoons. (Mauldin wanted to have Willie and Joe be killed on the last day of combat, but Stars and Stripes dissuaded him.)
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