River Falls, Wisconsin, Fletcher-Pechacek Legion Post 121 American Legion Post #121 was chartered October 25, 1919. The first commander was a local attorney, Stanley Doolittle. The first Legion Hall was located in the center of town and at the site of our present fire hall.
Some memorable “Old-Timers” include Charles Dawson, Everett Dodge, Joel Olson and Jeff Smith. One of our early pictures, displayed in our club hall, show this early group in 1927 organized as a Drum and Bugle Corps. In the late 1940’s Sidd Brandt, Bud Foss and Bill Wilcox organized a Drum and Bugle Corps. They were known as the Canadian Mounties. One of the more memorable events, according to Ed Jenkins, was when the group was asked to lead the St. Paul Winter Carnival Torchlight Parade. An interesting highlight that Ed recalls is the Ramsey County Sheriff took the unit out for dinner after the parade! Jerry Carter, still a member of Post 121, recalls being a member of the Drum & Bugle Corps (a picture is available in the image section of the Post History, along with some great memories). The American Legion Memorial Building, 701 N Main Street, became the new location for Legion Post 121 meetings beginning November 8th, 1955. The dedication of the building took place in the spring of 1956. Since construction completion, the Memorial Building has been the site of many meetings, barbecues, wedding receptions, reunion parties, BINGO, Post 121 Awards Banquets, Memorial Day luncheons, and a multitude of other important community events. The Legion building in River Falls, WI, is a go-to appropriate building for all members of the community to use in a variety of ways.
In honor of the two members for which Post 121 is named, the following words highlight Mr. Albert Harvey Fletcher (September 15, 1894 - September 28, 1918) and Mr. Ermin Joseph Pechacek (March 22, 1921 - February 15, 1942). Albert Harvey Fletcher was born in Mauston, Wisconsin on September 15, 1894. He was the son of Albert Horton and Elsie Gates Fletcher. (His father was an English teacher at River Falls Normal from 1901, until June 1906, when he met death by drowning while on a canoe trip on the Chippewa River. His mother taught piano lessons in River Falls and later became a top saleswoman with The New York LIfe Insurance Company.) “Harvey” graduated with honors from the then called “Normal School” in 1912 at the age of 17. He taught two years in Cedarburg and Lake Mills. He then attended Northwestern University and Garrett Biblical Institute at Evanston, IL. In 1916, he was appointed pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Camp Douglas, which position he occupied until May 1917. He was married to Ruth Schroeder of Oakdale, WI, on April 15, 1917. Also during the spring of 1917, “Harvey” enlisted in the Army as a Private in the 3rd Wisconsin Regiment which later became the 128th Infantry. He played in the band upon enlistment. Just before leaving for Waco he received the appointment of Supply Sergeant for Headquarters Company. His promotion in the Army was rapid and after leaving for France on February 18, 1918, he received warrants as Battalion Sergeant-Major and then Regimental Sergeant-Major in rapid succession. He was then transferred to the 372nd Infantry. In July, 1918, he entered Officers’ Candidate School and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant Fletcher was with the Colonel as an aide and intelligence officer, and they followed the enemy all that day. Lieutenant Fletcher had the duty of choosing a suitable place to establish Regimental Headquarters and as his duties required that he advance faster than the Colonel’s Staff, he was often exposed to shell fire. On September 28, at Ardull, Lieutenant FLetcher was killed by a shell that hit close to where he was standing. He was killed instantly by the concussion and was not marked. At the time of his death, he was commanding a platoon of negro troops from Massachusetts. His body was returned to River Falls and buried in Greenwood Cemetery with Military and Masonic services on October 9. 1921.
Ermin Joseph Pechacek was born in the township of River Falls on March 22, 1921. He was the son of Peter and Emily Pechacek. Ermin grew up in the Forrestville area in the township of River Falls and graduated from River Falls High School on June 2, 1938. He joined the U.S. Navy on October 9, 1938 for a four year enlistment and was trained at Great Lakes Training Station after which he served on various surface ships. In February of 1941, Ermin was assigned to the Submarine SHARK (SS174). The SHARK’s base of operation was around the Philippine Islands. While on patrol duty in the Makassar Strait, the SHARK was sunk by enemy fire...with all hands on board, including Ermin Pechacek. At the time of his death, Ermin was 20 years old and held the rank of Signalman Second Class. His service number was 328-55-05. Medals awarded to him include American Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, and Purple Heart Medal (Posthumously). In 1945, the Harvey Fletcher Post 121 of The American Legion changed the name of the post to Fletcher - Pechacek Post 121 in honor of Signalman Second Class Ermin Pechacek, the first casualty from Pierce County during World War II.
Some memorable “Old-Timers” include Charles Dawson, Everett Dodge, Joel Olson and Jeff Smith. One of our early pictures, displayed in our club hall, shows this early group in 1927 organized as a Drum and Bugle Corps.
What Makes this Post Unique
The amount of support we provide to Legion members and our community. Earned Meritorious Service certificate from the Legion National Commander, Charles E. Schmidt, in January 2017 ofr Manifested Cooperation & Loyalty. Membership Awards: Past three consecutive years WI Post 121 has had all-time high membership. http://www.riverfallsjournal.com/business/announcements/4389481-local-american-legion-post-sets-membership-record WI Post 121 selected as a finalist for non-profit of the year in River Falls.
2019 - 2110 VISION
Oct 25, 2017
Our Wisconsin American Legion Post 121 100-year Vision
carries on the Legacy, and implements beneficial..