|This ad for Guadalcanal Post 4745 in Matawan, NJ appeared in the 8 Apr 1948 edition of The Matawan Journal|
The Guadalcanal Post 4745, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), was established in October 1945 by ten veterans signing a charter in the presence of the Monmouth County Council and Joseph Smith, the department commander, according to the 25 Oct 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal.
Its charter members were (best as I can read them from the image):
- Albert E Fields
- Charles W Van Clief
- Amos Bowie Stiltz
- John P Vaccarella
- Anthony Giugliano
- Arthur John Wultz
- Carmine Raffa
- Samuel G Gusti
- Anthony J Delnegro
- Thomas W Jackson
The post held its first meetings at Vaccarelli Hall, which was on High Street in Matawan near the railroad station. Meetings were weekly to bring in new members and conduct other organizational business.
Warren Van Clief was the post's first Commander, according to the 27 Jun 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal, which contained a summary of the post's history to date. (My research suggests that some of the information in the 1957 article is incorrect.)
The 8 Nov 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal said the post had recently been organized and a membership drive was underday. Upcoming meetings would be on the first and third Monday of each month at Vaccarelli Hall on High Street in Matawan.
The post moved its meetings to the First Aid Hall on Little Street in Matawan, according to the 12 Dec 1946 and 2 Oct 1947 editions of The Matawan Journal.
Alfred Pouzene was elected to his second consecutive year as Commander of the post in April 1949, according to the 7 Apr 1949 edition of The Matawan Journal. Arthur Gough, Sr was elected as Senior Vice Commander; Anthony Bucco, Jr, Vice Commander; David Bruce, Quartermaster; Gerard Gardner, Adjutant; and Angelo Tomasiello, Chaplain.
The post moved to the Cliffwood Civil Association building in 1950, according to the 27 Jun 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal. I found no reference to the civic association building being used for meetings until the 2 Apr 1953 edition of The Matawan Journal.
The move to Cliffwood initially resulted in both Cliffwood and Matawan being carried in the name of the post. The 1 Jun 1950, 10 Aug 1950 and 4 Oct 1951 editions of The Matawan Journal referred to the post as Guadalcanal Post 4745, VFW, Cliffwood-Matawan. The 21 Sep 1950 edition of The Matawan Journal referred to the post as Guadalcanal Post 4745 VFW of Cliffwood and Matawan. The 5 Oct 1950 edition of The Matawan Journal referred to the post as Guadalcanal Post 4745 VFW of Matawan and Cliffwood.
Michael F Kidzus was Commander of the post, according to the 23 Nov 1950 edition of The Matawan Journal Vice Commander was Leroy Umscheid. Kidzus was politically active during his tenure and after his service to the VFW even registered as a candidate for mayor.
In an article about the proceedings of a recent meeting of the Matawan Township Committee, the 25 Oct 1951 edition of The Matawan Journal referred to the post's new home as being under construction.
"Mr. (Ernest) Hubbard asked (the Matawan Township Committee) if an honor roll could be erected for veterans in the township in which the names imprinted on wood strips could be put on display behind a glass case. He said it would not be satisfactory to relatives of veterans to just have a marble stone with metal plaques not carrying the individual names.
Mr. Marz said he would have to consult the officers of Guadalcanal Post, 4745, VFW, about this as the
plaque is to go up at the site of their new post home, and the building now is under way."
|Guadalcanal Post 4745 VFW in Cliffwood, NJ in 1957.|
The post moved into a building at the corner of Hawthorne Street and Cliffwood Avenue (photo, above), on a lot it purchased in 1951, according to the 27 Jun 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal.
In the early days, the post attempted to establish bus service between Cliffwood and downtown Matawan. Amazingly, they also went on the record encouraging the establishment of youth programs to thwart young lovers from having idle time to find a dark spot to park along Lake Lefferts and neck.
Lacking space for major events in the early 1950's, the post held them at the Cliffwood Firehouse, Matawan High School, the Knights of Columbus hall in Keyport, and the Legion Hall of American Legion Post 176 in Matawan.
|Guadalcanal Post 4745 VFW held a dance at the American Legion hall in Matawan in 1954.|
The post held a dance at Legion Hall in Matawan on 18 Dec 1954, according to the above ad in the 9 Dec 1954 edition of The Matawan Journal. Walt Staeger's Orchestra would be performing.
The post held its tenth anniversary dinner on 10 Dec 1955 at the Robert E Lee Inn, according to the 22 Dec 1955 edition of The Matawan Journal. Attending were 125 veterans, their wives and other guests. (The Robert E Lee Inn was situated at the mouth of Cheesequake Creek, between Route 35 and Raritan Bay in the Morgan section of Sayreville. It burned to the ground in the 1980s, according to the 20 Sep 2007 edition of The Suburban.)
The 27 Jun 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that a new building, the current one, was to be erected on the same site on Cliffwood Avenue. (The image of the plan was too faded to reproduce here.)