The American Legion began in Paris by Veterans who were waiting to be transported home in March of 1919. Five months later Post 105 was established and the original Charter President of Post 105 was Floyd Grainger. The Post Commanders at the time were called Presidents until the 1st annual convention in San Diego of the American Legion in 1920. At that convention the title was changed to Commander, in honor of the President of the United States.
Mr Grainger served for many years on the Post's Executive Committee and was the first Commander of Post 105. He was also an active leader in the City of Redwood City, serving on the City Council for many years and 2 terms as Mayor of Redwood City. Since the beginning of the Post, we have had 82 Commanders, the current Commander at the time of this writing is George Smith.
Bob Bruce was another member who worked tirelessly for the Post. He was the Post Adjutant for many years, keeping track of meeting minutes and Official Post Records and membership. Bob instituted the Bingo operation as a fund raiser for the Post's charitable efforts including Jr. Baseball, Sea Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Salvation Army to name a few.
Leo Crawford was a WWII pilot who was shot down and crippled for life, he was distressed that the FAA refused to re-issue his pilots license. Mr Crawford went on to serve as the State Commander of the American Legion and was the West Coast Manager for Red Devil Fireworks. Post 105 had the largest stand of fireworks and all proceeds from the fireworks applied to our American Legion Jr. Baseball program. Mr. Crawford and Post 105 were also instrumental in establishing Redwood City's, Outstanding Citizen Award, of which Mr. Crawford was Chairman.
One of Mr. Crawford's assistants with the Outstanding Citizen Award was Post member COL. Mitchell Paige, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. COL Paige served as an advisor to several American Presidents and was very active in the Medal of Honor Society. Redwood City named it's Outstanding Citizen Award to returning Desert Storm Veterans, COL Paige presented 9 returning servicemen with a medal. In 1999 the first wing of the California Veterans Home in Riverside California was complete and named for COL Paige.
Commander, Vince Truscelli was the Commander of Post 105 in 1969 to 1971 and again in 1996-1998. He was a WWII Veteran and former Redwood City Police Officer. He was an active member of the Redwood City Senior Services and spent many hours in that effort. In later years Mr. Truscelli was the Chairman of the Outstanding Citizen Award Committee.
Another leader was Commander Joe Paynter, a Korean War Veteran and former POW. Mr. Paynter worked the membership program of Post 105 and almost achieved the coveted goal of 1000 members(968). Mr. Paynter served as District Commander (County), and the State Sergeant at Arms and Department Vice Commander. He later became Grand Chef de Gare of the 40/8 an Honor Veterans group that used to run their locomotive in parades and children's parties.
Joe Donovan was the first Vietnam Veteran to be Commander of Post 105. One of the social events at the time was a dinner honoring WWI and WWII veterans, most members at the time felt they were not old enough to be honored. Mr. Donovan served as Post Adjutant for 23 years, District Commander, Department Sergeant at Arms and and has become a leader at both the State and National levels of the 40/8.
Post 105 has had several members honored as Veterans of the Year by the San Mateo County Veterans Commission for their work in the Community. Notables are: Romie Bassetto 2017, Leo McArdle 2019, George Smith 2022. The veteran of the year award was instituted in 2016, since that time the award was presented to Post 105 members three times.
For the last 100 years our members have left a little of themselves in San Mateo County and Redwood City. There are numerous members in our 103 year history who have contributed, too many to list. In the next 100 years we plan on still being a part of our community.