A group of local World War II veterans combined their efforts to form an Americsan Legion Post in Whitestown. A temporary charter was granted May 10, 1946. 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.
A committee was formed to name the Post and Mr. Fred Carey, a prominent realtor and auctioneer from Whitestown, submitted the name of Donald E. Pipes for the Post name. (The nephew of Donald is presently a member of the Post SAL). At that time all of the Whitestown's servicemen and women who died in the service of our country, as a mark of respect, were honored. A tradition which has continued to this day.
The first Commander of Post 410 was Eugene Essex. Other charter members were:
Everett Allen, Howard Allen, Lester Allen, Woodrow Allen, Damon Byrkett, Oliver Byrkett, Russell Byrkett, Calvin Creasy, Vaughn Copenhaver, Lloyd Enoch, William Engledow, Ray Frye, Robert Frye, Donald Hamm, Robert Hamilton, Wilmer Copenhaver, Ivan Harmon, Ralph Isenhour, Claudius Shaw, Warren Klingler, Wendell Linville, Howard MIller, Clyde Neese, Loren Pipes, Marvin Reynolds, Kenneth Shirley, Donald Sortor Sr., Ora Sortor, Marvin Stantz, Ray Staton, Robert Wilson, John Whitmore.
Meetings were held each Friday night at Laughner Hall. Dues were $3.50 per week. In late 1946, Post 410 purchased a building for $2,800.00 located at 80 Railroad Street. (Now with enterance facing north it is Linville Avenue.) Meetings were held upstairs. The first floor was leased for a restaurant called the "Legion Cafe".
Origin of our Post Name
Donald Eugene Pipes was born June 19, 1923, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Pipes, Whitestown. Donald attended Whitestown Schools and graduation in 1941. Donald was inducted into service with the 431st Bomb Squadron, 7th Army Air corps, and was assigned to a B-24 Bomber as a tail-gunner. Donald flew many missions from his base on the Marshall Islands. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. There were many conflicting stories surrounding Donald's death. One that is accepted is after leaving their target on Turk Island on July 28th 1944, the plane was severly damaged in an encounter with enemy aircraft, exploded and crashed in flames 12 miles northeast of Turk Island. The week of November 10th, 1945, a news flash told of finding 24 American Airmen on the Marshall Islands, believed to be of the 7th Air Corps, all suffering from malnutrition and amnesia with no identification. Mrs Pipes (Donald's Mother), sent a letter to the Adjunt General seeking permission to visit the men and possibley identify Donald. The request was denied by the U. S. Government. His official statement of death was not made until December 1949.