40 & 8 National
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The Forty & Eight was formed in 1920 by American Legionnaires as an honor society and from it's earliest days it has been committed to charitable aims. Membership is by invitation for members of the American Legion who have shown exemplary service. All Forty & Eight members are thus Veterans of congressionally recognized wartime periods via their Legion membership.
The Forty & Eight’s titles and symbols reflect it's First World War origins. American servicemen in France were transported to the battle front on narrow gauge French railroads (Chemin de Fer) inside boxcars (Voitures) that were half the size of American boxcars. Each French boxcar was stenciled with a “40/8”, denoting its capacity to hold either forty men or eight horses.
At the time, this uncomfortable mode of transportation was familiar to all who traveled from the coast to the trenches; a common small misery among American soldiers who thereafter found “40/8” a lighthearted symbol of the deeper service, sacrifice and unspoken horrors of war that truly bind those who have borne the battle.
If your Post has Veterans who qualify to join the "40&8" contact our local San Tomas Voiture:
San Tomas Voiture 365
Meets 2nd Mon 7:00pm
Mission City Post 564 (American Legion), 2120 Walsh Ave, Santa Clara, CA
Correspondent: Steve Villegas (408) 309-9158 or Spummer1@gmail.com
For more details, visit http://www.fortyandeight.org/
Pictured L-R: San Tomas V365: Mike Welsh (ALP558), Larry Lynch (ALP99), Ken Newman (ALP558) and Gene Grundstrom (ALP419). Poppy decorating concept Cindy Newman; decorated by Cindy Newman and Maydean Grundstrom (ALA419) for Mountain View Spring Parade.