In 1921 a widow by the name of Elizabeth E. Austin who was a resident of Asbury Park as well as the Neptune area, graciously donated Lot 46, Block 217 also known as 240 Drummond Avenue, Neptune NJ, to help with it's first Black Boy Scouts Troop. The building later became The American Legion, Frederick Dempsey Post 266.
We Sincerely thank Mrs. Elizabeth E. Austin for her generous donation.
Fifteen former servicemen met in the Boy Scouts meeting room. Living at the time in Neptune was an informal community consisting of former World War I Veterans. The decision to organize an American Legion Post resulted from the conclusion of these Veterans that the American Legion was the representative Veterans' organization in this country. That conclusion has been proven true as today the American Legion is the largest wartime Veterans' organization with nearly 15,000 local Posts throughout America and over 3 million members who care about America, Veterans, their families and our nation's youth.
At the first meeting Mr. John Wynne Harris was elected temporary Chairman and Mr. Thomas Barnes temporary Secretary. Decision was made by the attending Veterans to file an application for an American Legion Post.
At the next meeting, a Certificate of Application for a Charter was presented. It was also decided at this meeting to organize a Post as soon as fifty servicemen of Neptune and Asbury Park had indicated their desire to join the Post.
A committee was formed to name the Post and the Post was named "American Legion Post 266, Frederick Dempsey Post”.
Frederick Dempsey was a resident of the Neptune and Asbury Park area. He enjoyed a fulfilling childhood becoming an outstanding athlete. Frederick Dempsey was one of a few Black men to serve our country as a Commissioned Officer during World War I. 2nd Lieutennant Frederick Dempsey was in the U.S. Army, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division. He gave his life on September 26th 1918 in a major battle called the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery located in Romagne, France.
All of Neptune & Asbury Park’s servicemen who died in the service of their country, as a mark of respect, were honored when the Post was chartered.
Permanent organization was affected at the next meeting at which time permanent officers were elected. The first officers of American Legion Post were: Commander: Mr. John Wynne Harris, Adjutant: Mr. Thomas Barnes, and Finance Officer: Mr. Sydney Hawkins.
A Women's Auxiliary of American Legion Post 266 was formed on April 5th, 1924. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Auxiliary. Auxiliary members are always anxious and willing to co-operate in every Legion activity.
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to memorial events throughout the Neptune community, the goal of every Veteran to it's last man is to keep MEMORIAL DAY sacred to the memory of our war dead of all of the wars of the country; and all graves are decorated on this National Holiday. Each year, active members place a flag on each Veteran's grave.
ARMISTICE DAY, now called VETERANS' DAY, originally marked the end of fighting in World War I. It is an important holiday on the calendar of Legionnaires everywhere and in the hearts of all Veterans. Annually the Post participates in the Armistice Day Ceremony. An important tradition was established when the Post led in the memorial exercises at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the exact hour of the cessation of hostility on the war fronts.
Scholarships and Community Projects
American LegionPost 266 sponsors various scholarships for the further education of our children. We also sponsor and financially assist many worthy community projects and programs initiated by the National American Legion.
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