The San Dieguito American Legion Post 416 has been located in Encinitas since WWI. They have been operating out of original American Legion structures located in North County San Diego since 1930. Membership has more than doubled in the past year, while active duty and veterans are coming together for support of one another.
On April 30, the American Legion hosted a fundraiser in honor of retired Navy Captain, E. Royce Williams. Williams disclosed his story from the Korean War that has been kept “top secret” for more than 50 years. William’s code name is the “The Forgotten Hero of the Forgotten War” and this is why.
As a U.S. Navy Aviator, Captain Williams single-handedly shot down four Russian MiG-15s in a 35-minute mid-air battle during a 7 on 1 encounter, during this historical moment, while simply doing his job. “I had the opportunity to meet with President Eisenhower after the fierce engagement and didn’t even mention the topic to him,” Williams said. His wife, of more than 40 years; and his brother, also a naval aviator, were never told about this encounter, said Williams.
Retired Rear Admiral Doniphan B. Shelton, who accompanied Captain Williams to the American Legion Post 416 fundraising event, would like to see Captain E. Royce Williams recognized properly for what he did Nov. 18, 1952. Shelton has initiated a re-review through Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif) office along with two four star admirals’ endorsements. Supporters are on a nationwide campaign to gather 100,000 signatures to demand re-review for recognition.
Remarkably, the San Dieguito American Legion Post 416 of Encinitas’ membership has been moving upwards at staggering rate for the past year with “no slowdown in sight.” The active duty and veterans in the community are reaching out to support one another. San Dieguito has more than 140 new or transferred members who have recently joined the American Legion Post 416 Encinitas, all whom are currently serving on active duty or are recent discharged wartime veterans.
“The community service members have found a place to enjoy camaraderie right in the middle of downtown Encinitas”, said Steve Lewandowski, Post Commander of 416. Lewandowski said service members are utilizing the American Legion post events room and are seeking out services, which is what the American Legion is all about.
Lastly, the public is reminded there will be a special event held at the San Dieguito American Legion Post 416 on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, at 10:45 a.m. at 210 West F Street, located in downtown Encinitas.
Nashville recording artist Amy Scruggs will be singing the National Anthem and her band will be entertaining the troops, while Post 416 offers the Memorial Days Ceremony.
The American Legion is open daily Monday through Friday 1-9 p.m. Dinner is served, 5-8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday the American Legion is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dinner is served 5:30-7 p.m. Active Duty, veterans and families of veterans are always welcome. For more information, please visit www.CaLegionPost416.org