The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, war-time veterans organization, devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is a not-for-profit community-service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members, men and women, in nearly 15,000 American Legion posts worldwide.
Blanchard-Currey American Legion Post 1040 History
The original American Legion Post 1040 was erected on the site of the former Elsmere Grade School, and was dedicated on October 10, 1931. The current building was constructed in 19–.
The Post was named in memory of Nathaniel Adams Blanchard, believed to be the last American Service member killed in action in World War I in France. He was a member of Company G 307th INFANTRY 77th Division. He was killed at the end of the Meuse Argonne Offensive on November 9, 1918. His body was returned to Delmar and he rests in the Bethlehem Cemetery at the corner of Kenwood and Elsmere Avenues.
Some 14,246 Americans who lost their lives in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, are buried in the American Cemetery in Argone, France.
In September 2021 the Post was renamed to also honor Francis Currey.
Francis (Frank) Currey, left the military as a United States Army Technical Sergeant and a recipient of the military’s highest decoration for valor – the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
After graduating from High School, Frank joined the Army at the age of 17. He completed Officer Candidate School at the age of only 18, but because of his age he was denied a commission. After training with the 75th Infantry Division he was to be sent to Europe. But, again due to his age he was delayed in going to England until he turned 19. In July 1944 he was sent to England and shortly thereafter entered combat duty landing on Omaha Beach a few weeks after D-Day.
As a Private First Class he was assigned as an automatic rifleman in a rifle squad. On December 21, 1944, while he was guarding a bridge crossing and strongpoint he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire while firing upon and killing several German Infantrymen during an early morning German tank advance in Malmedy, Belgium. During the attack, he used a bazooka and anti-tank grenades which caused four enemy tank crews to abandon their tanks and also enabled him to rescue five comrades who had been pinned down by enemy fire in a nearby building.
After the Battle of the Bulge, Frank became a Squad Leader, and was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. In March 1945, his Company Commander recommended him for the Medal of Honor for his actions on December 21st. The Medal of Honor was presented to him on July 27, 1945, by the 30th Infantry Division Commander, Major General Leland Hobbs, near Reims, France; the medal was officially awarded to him on August 17, 1945. After the war was over in Europe, Frank received his 3rd Purple Heart for being shot in Bavaria while disarming German soldiers.
After leaving the military Frank worked as a counselor at the VA Hospital in Albany until he retired in 1980. Over the years Frank was always involved veteran’s activities and programs and for several years was a member of the American Legion, Post 1040 before he died on October 8, 2019.
The American Legion, Post 1040 is proud to recognize Frank Currey for his service to his country, fellow soldiers and fellow veterans by co-naming to Post in his honor, as the Blanchard-Currey Post.