On August 4, 1921 The Charter for Post #73 in the Department of Kentucky was awarded to Murray, Kentucky and on August 14, 1921 the Charter was conveyed to the Department of Kentucky Headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. The Charter was then presented to a Delegation of Officers from Murray.
Post 73 has operated at various levels of membership as high as 660 shortly after the onset of WWII. These Veterans recognized that the American Legion was the foremost Veterans Service Organization. Their conclusion has been proven true as today the American Legion is the largest Veterans Service Organization (VSO) in the world with more than 15,000 local posts throughout America and over 3 million members who continue to serve America, their fellow Veterans, their families and the youth of our communities.
The leaders of Post 73 over the years represent a virtual “Who’s Who” of our community and their names are maintained on a listing that is framed and posted at the current Post 73 Veterans’ Hall. In 2000 the post was reconstituted and the old post located at 6th & Poplar streets was sold to First United Methodist Church. For a period of three years the post met in the conference room of the Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce while lease arrangements and building design were finalized with the City of Murray and Morton Buildings, Inc.
Through the efforts of 14 charter members of the reconstituted post, permission was granted by the family of Billy Lane Lauffer, Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient, who is buried in Murray Memorial Gardens on highway 641 north. In May of 2004 the new building was dedicated and the members began meeting in the new hall. Those original 14 members of the reconstituted post were; Don Adcock, James Thompson, Lois Wells, Frank Wells, Duane Brown, Jim Clemons, Mark Kennedy, Ray Pawlowski, Lynn Johnson, George King, Fred Douglas, Sam Warner, Daythel Turleyand Bob Bell. These members voted to adopt the motto: “We Continue To Serve.” Since 2004 the membership has ranged between 100 – 160 members. The post has about 125 members as of 2021.
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to memorial events throughout the Murray 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.
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.
Youth and Community Projects
American LegionPost --- sponsors various youth programs for the further education of our children. Post 73 is very active with the annual American Legion Oratorical contest. Please see the Oratorical page for more informaiton. We also sponsor and financially assist many worthy community projects and programs initiated by the National American Legion.
Join Us and Keep this History Alive
From the Congressional Medal of Honor Society:
Vietnam War - U.S. Army
BILLY LANE LAUFFER
RANK: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS
MILITARY SERVICE BRANCH: U.S. ARMY
CONFLICT/ERA: VIETNAM WAR
MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION DATE: SEPTEMBER 21, 1966
COMPANY C, 2D BATTALION, 5TH CAVALRY,
1ST AIR CAVALRY DIVISION
MEDAL OF HONOR ACTION PLACE: NEAR BON SON, BINH DINH PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Lauffer's squad, a part of Company C, was suddenly struck at close range by an intense machine-gun crossfire from two concealed bunkers astride the squad's route. Pfc. Lauffer, the second man in the column, saw the leadman fall and noted that the remainder of the squad was unable to move. Two comrades, previously wounded and being carried on litters, were lying helpless in the beaten zone of the enemy fire. Reacting instinctively, Pfc. Lauffer quickly engaged both bunkers with fire from his rifle, but when the other squad members attempted to maneuver under his cover fire, the enemy fusillade increased in volume and thwarted every attempt to move. Seeing this and his wounded comrades helpless in the open, Pfc. Lauffer rose to his feet and charged the enemy machine-gun positions, firing his weapon and drawing the enemy's attention. Keeping the enemy confused and off balance, his one-man assault provided the crucial moments for the wounded point man to crawl to a covered position, the squad to move the exposed litter patients to safety, and his comrades to gain more advantageous positions. Pfc. Lauffer was fatally wounded during his selfless act of courage and devotion to his fellow soldiers. His gallantry at the cost of his life served as an inspiration to his comrades and saved the lives of an untold number of his companions. His actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
ACCREDITED TO: PHOENIX, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA
AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY: YES
PRESENTATION DATE & DETAILS: AUGUST 15, 1968
THE PENTAGON, PRESENTED BY SEC. OF THE ARMY STANLEY R. RESOR TO HIS FAMILY
BORN: OCTOBER 20, 1945, MURRAY, CALLOWAY COUNTY, KY, UNITED STATES
DIED: SEPTEMBER 21, 1966, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
BURIED: MURRAY MEMORIAL GARDENS (MH) (34A-1) , MURRAY, KY, UNITED STATES