American Legion 100th anniversary celebration Saturday, Oct. 5
Tomahawk’s Bronsted-Searl-Ingman Post 93 chartered in 1919
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor
TOMAHAWK – One hundred years after being chartered, Bronsted-Searl-Ingman American Legion Post 93, 327 West Wisconsin Ave., Tomahawk, will host a celebration of the milestone on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m., featuring classic country music from Dave Fox and Foxfire.
The American Legion is “the nation’s largest veterans service organization, committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans,” the Legion’s website says.
Members of the American Expeditionary Force convened in Paris from March 15 to March 17, 1919 for the first American Legion caucus. At the St. Louis caucus, held from May 8 to May 10, 1919, the organization adopted “The American Legion” as its official name. Congress chartered the Legion on Sept. 16, 1919.
At the first American Legion convention in Minneapolis, Minn., held from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12, 1919, a resolution in support of the Boy Scouts of America was passed. Today, the Legion is the chartering organization of over 1,700 Scouting units comprised of roughly 64,000 youth.
Tomahawk Post 93 was chartered on Oct. 6, 1919 and is named after three area veterans: Henry E. Bronsted, Charles J. Searl and Einar Harold Ingman Jr.
Bronsted was born in Tomahawk on June 26, 1898 to the late John M. and Bertha (Waller) Bronsted. After graduating from Tomahawk High School, he enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guard in 1917 as a member of the Fourth Infantry.
After arriving in France on March 4, 1918, Bronsted was sent to within six kilometers of the front lines at Cuperly, near Chalons, and was in the trenches on June 2.
Bronsted was killed at Juvingy after being struck in the heart by a shell fragment on Aug. 31, 1918. Bronsted’s remains arrived home in Tomahawk on Jan. 1, 1921, where his funeral service at Maccabee Hall was attended by the entire community.
Tomahawk native and pilot Searl, along with the crew of the B-17 bomber plane that Searl named the “Tomahawk Warrior,” part of the United States Army Air Forces 398th Bomb Group, flew many missions during World War II, including one to targets at Caen and Courseulles, France, on D-Day.
On Aug. 12, 1944, the Tomahawk Warrior experienced mechanical issues and crashed in Penn, England. According to the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association, Searl purposely put the ill-fated aircraft down in an open field near Lude Farm, saving countless lives by avoiding the populated areas nearby.
The entire crew, including Searl, died in the crash.
The Tomahawk Warrior crew is the subject of a book, The Tomahawk Warrior: The Final Honor, by author David E. Huntley. Huntley was nine years old when he witnessed the aftermath of the crash after the Tomahawk Warrior went down just a mile and a half from his family’s cottage.
Ingman was born on Oct. 6, 1929 in Milwaukee and grew up on a farm near Tomahawk. He joined the Army in 1948, hoping to work with heavy machinery, but instead served as an infantryman.
As a corporal serving with Company E, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, Ingman was among two squads of men tasked with assaulting a fortified ridge-top position near the town of Malta-ri in Korea on Feb. 26, 1951. When both squad leaders were wounded, Ingman combined the squads and took command. After making a radio call for artillery and tank support, he led his soldiers against the position, encouraging them and directing their fire.
Ingman suffered serious wounds from both gunfire and a hand grenade explosion. After he fell unconscious, his men went on to capture their objective and force the opposing troops into a disorganized retreat.
On July 5, 1951, Ingman, recently promoted to sergeant, was flown from Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Mich., to Washington, D.C., where President Harry Truman presented him with the Medal of Honor.
After being discharged from the Army, Ingman returned to the Tomahawk area, residing in Irma. He passed away on Sept. 9, 2015, at the age of 85.
Post 93’s Youth, Community Involvement
Tomahawk Post 93 provides programs for youth participation and financial support to many youth programs. The Post gives out an annual high school scholarship, along with supporting local Girl Scout troops and the Happy Kids Backpack Program. Post 93 has also sponsored a Boy Scout Troop since 1924 and an American Legion baseball team since 1946.
Post 93’s community involvement extends beyond youth programs. The Post provides Honor Guard and colors for parades and memorial services, co-sponsors Tomahawk’s annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony, supports the Salvation Army and donates to Tomahawk Area Food Pantry.
With a commitment to veterans, Post 93 provides an Honor Guard and firing squad for veterans’ funerals, maintains the grave markers and flags on veterans’ gravesites, donates to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight and is a co-sponsor of the Veterans Banners on West Wisconsin Ave.
The Post also provides support to families of deployed National Guard troops, assists veterans with information on veterans programs and makes annual contributions to VA hospitals.
For more information about Bronsted-Searl-Ingman American Legion Post 93 or the Post’s 100th anniversary celebration, call 714-453-4559.