March 7, 2013

I entered active duty on January 7, 1961, at the Medical Field Service School at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. After a six week Officer Orientation course I received my orders to France for the next two years. I arrived in Paris after a 22 hour MATS flight and, since there were several hours before my evening train to my next post, an NCO took me to American Legion Post No.1 where the Legion was founded. My recollection is that we hoisted a few (too many?) Heineken's. Later I traveled to my headquarters in Poitiers. I was met at the train by my Colonel who immediately took me to the Officer's Club where a party was in full progress. The next day I went by car to my permanent post at Fontenet.

In 1978, I accompanied the World War I Drum & Bugle Corps from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as they returned to London and Paris to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Great War. I filmed the entire adventure and completed a 45-minute documentary film. Near the end of the trip we had a farewell dinner at - you guessed it - the same American Legion Post No. 1!

Several years later my wife and I returned to Paris and I took with me a copy of the film and loaned it to the manager (Roger) of Post No. 1 in Paris. At the conclusion of the trip I returned to the post for lunch and my film was returned to me. That was my last visit as it is my understanding the post is now closed.

(Capt) Edwin Rennell Jr


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