POST HISTORY

Smith Wynn VFW Post 96 was mustered in on March 15th, 1921 with forty-two members. After World War II, in 1949, there were 1040 members. It is the oldest Post in Alabama.

In 2017 the members of Post 96 approved the consolidation of the Post with another Montgomery VFW Post, Arthur W. Ansley Post 4176.

The Smith Wynn VFW Post 96 in Montgomery, Alabama is named after two World War I soldiers who were killed in action in the Chateau-Thierry region of France on July 26th, 1918. (Some records show PFC John F. Smith as MIA as of July 28th,1918. Other records show he was wounded on the 26th and died on July 28th.)

The two soldiers were Private First Class John F. Smith, of then, 1311 S. Court St. in Montgomery and Corp. Rush P. Wynn (Enlisted: 8/6/1917), of then, 1208 Madison Avenue in Montgomery. Wynn may have been born Pierson Rush Wynn in 1889. (later listed as Rush Pearson Wynn). Both were in the 167th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the Machine Gun Company, and became part of the 42nd "Rainbow” Division and then the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in France.

Supreme Allied Commander General Ferdinand Foch immediately put the Allied Army on the offensive. Four days after winning in the Champagne, he ordered a Franco-American drive northeast from the town of Château-Thierry. The 167th (Alabama), with its sister regiment in the 84th Brigade, the 168th (Iowa) on its right flank, led the "Rainbow” Division push into a great battle at Croix Rouge Farm on July 26, 1918. There the Alabama regiment lost 162 killed, including 3 Lieutenants and 2 Captains, company commanders. More than 1,000 from the 167th (Alabama) were wounded. But their victory forced the Germans to retreat to positions on the east of the Ourcq River, about six miles from the Croix Rouge Farm.

For his service, now Corporal, Rush P. Wynn was awarded the French Croix de Guerre (French War Cross). He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery. (See grave marker below)

PFC John F. Smith was cited by the Commander-General of the "Rainbow” Division. He is buried in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France. 
 
 
 



"Battle of Croix Rouge Farm
"New Croix Rouge Farm memorial honors 167th Infantry Regiment”


(1) Alabama’s Own in France by William Henry Amerine.
 

Recent Post 96 Commanders: 
Dr. James Larose *
Richard Erickson *
Mark Hilton
Samuel "Brian" Petters
Robert Carr
 
* (deceased)
 

History by Mark SG Hilton, Past Post 96 Commander