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1927 National Convention in Paris

The American Legion National Convention in Paris, France

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1927 National Convention in Paris

Calling themselves the “Second American Expeditionary Force,” 20,000 men and women of The American Legion and Auxiliary journeyed to France in September 1927 for the Legion’s 9th National Convention.

The conventioneers frolicked at Coney Island, New York, before sailing across the Atlantic on board the steamship Leviathan. Gen. John J. Pershing accompanied National Commander Howard P. Savage on the voyage. In Paris, both men – along with many other distinguished Legion guests – attended a dinner party hosted by French president Gaston Doumergue.

Many highlights of the 1927 convention were captured on 16mm film, recently transferred to digital format by the Legion’s national headquarters in Indianapolis.

Scenes in the edited version include great shots of people enjoying the rides at Coney Island, various shots of the Atlantic voyage, and the Legion parade in Paris. If you look carefully, you’ll see Cdr. Savage in the back seat of a car, flanked by Gen. Pershing and French Gen. Ferdinand Foch (supreme Allied commander during the last year of the war).

The excerpts conclude with visits to battlefields and a cemetery, with the rebuilt bridge over the Marne River as the final image. The earlier bridge was blown up in the Second Battle of the Marne (July-August 1918), in which eight U.S. infantry divisions fought.

The September 1927 issue of The American Legion Magazine published an advance story on the Paris convention, noting that “The city which keeps alive the memory of its dead will extend to the Second A.E.F. a welcome that will be mellowed by remembrance of the joint sacrifice of two nations.”

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Steve Leader

October 18, 2014 - 12:56pm

I own a bunch of things from this convention. I just purchased the medal of the National Commander from this convention too, and will be added to my website shortly. Steve

Frank Banks

September 6, 2014 - 12:36am

I have a small horn with a brass tag that reads American Legion September 1927 Paris . The horn appears to be silver and engraved on it is LE JAZZ with a anchor below it with H and N on either side of the anchor. On the back of the horn is engraved with CARAMELLA in an arc and 21 Rou Pl. Wilson under neath it, then EVALLOIS under that. The horn is approx 9-1/2" long. I would like to know any more info about it. Thanks Frank

John Erhardt

July 10, 2014 - 11:58am

I have a photograph of The Illinois Chapter marching in Paris, 1927, and I also believe my grand father is there. His name was William George Erhardt.

Mark Weiser

June 18, 2014 - 2:09am

I have the booklet, Second A.F.E" On To Paris 1927. It is the passenger list from the S.S. Pennland


August 25, 2013 - 1:44am

I have the coin you spoke about in fine condition. it a large bronze coin 2 1/2 inch rd. been trying to ID it for about a year. it seems to be a commemorate piece produced for the 1927 convention. I would like more info, if anyone has any. I have a picture I can post, if some one can explain how.


February 24, 2013 - 2:40pm

Am trying to find a listing of the delegates that attended the 1927 convention. I believe my grandfather was there as I have found a pin that I must assume he wore. Any direction to where I might find that would be awesome.

Terry Tomsick

September 19, 2010 - 12:20pm

Found "the Second AEF" official certificate of identification for the 1927 convention in Paris that my grandfather used, it says, in lieu of a passport. He was also a lifelong member of the American Legion. Does anyone have a passenger list for the Leviathan?


October 15, 2013 - 9:13am

I have the outbound list for that LEVIATHAN sailing. What name would you like me to look up?

Terry Brown Tomsick

February 16, 2014 - 6:51pm

The name is William Matthew Brown. In 1927, he would have been living in Doyleville or Gunnison, Colorado.


September 18, 2010 - 8:38pm

I have a coin dated 1927 that shows profiles of Washington and LaFayette on the obverse and "Les Galeries Lafayette de Paris A L'American Legion Septembre 1927" on the reverse. There is a maker's label on the obverse that says, as best I can make out, "Gaston Layhiller" and "Paris Art" with a small maker's mark. On the coin's edge are two more very small marks that I cannot make out. Does anyone know more about these coins?


June 16, 2012 - 7:22pm

I have the same coin. Were you able to find anything out with regards to the coin? Jeff Mann

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