In 1924 a group of forty-four World War One veterans, applied for a charter with a veteran’s organization that had been formed five years earlier, at the end of the war. The Post was named in honor of two brave soldiers from Manchester that made the ultimate sacrifice on the fields of France; Joseph Dilworth and Adolf Cornell, both of which were members of the Yankee Division. With the application the great work of The American Legion began in Manchester. The organization began working towards the four Pillars of the Legion: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, Americanism, National Defense and the support of the Youth of America. Along with the other 43 Charter Members, Clarence Bissell became the First Post Commander, who had been part of the 102nd Infantry Division from Manchester, Connecticut during the war.
Membership grew over the next several years and in 1936, the Post was joined by The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 102, along with the chartering of the Sons of The American Legion Squadron 102. This illustrates the involvement that the Post had in the community, during the inter-war period Post 102 was part of the organization that fought for Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation of those whom had served during the First World War. In the late 30’s the Post membership grew to the point that construction on a Post Home started on Leonard Drive, the doors to the American Legion Home opened in 1940.
As the Second World War began, Post 102 took an active role in National Defense, taking part in community events to support the War. Members of the Post were also recalled to service, John Jenney, Commander for 1932 was recalled to active duty with the State Guard to guard high-risk targets in East Hartford. Post 102 actively supported the State Guard during the War. After the Second World War membership in the Post continued to grow, along with the Auxiliary Unit and the Sons Squadron. In 1947 to honor a sailor who was a resident of Manchester killed in action during World War Two a third name was added to the Charter, Mario Quey.
Membership in the Post continued to grow reaching a pinnacle of 831 members with a combination of Veterans from WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. In the 1970's the Town of Manchester officially renamed Leonard Drive to American Legion Drive in honor of all that the Post had done in the community. The Post carried on from the 70's unfortunately losing members from WWI and WWII. As the millennium changed eligibility was added for veterans of the Lebanon and Grenada conflicts, the conflict in Panama of the 1980's, and the Persian Gulf War.
Membership of the new millennium has begun to change; the Post is bringing on new members with service in the Middle East, in Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as members with service in the Balkans with service in Bosnia. We continue to make history, and are active in the community; we have members from all the conflicts since World War Two, our largest group of members with service during the Vietnam War, with the largest service branch being the United States Army. Our membership represents all of the branches of the service, women, members from at least four different states, and members who continue to serve on Active Duty, in the Reserves and the National Guard. Our membership represents each level of The American Legion at the State Level, we have a past member who was the State Commander, two Past 1st District Commanders, a 1st District Sergeant-at-Arms, and a Department Executive Committeeman.
The American Legion Post 102 in Manchester Connecticut is named in honor of, three individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice:
The Post Home for American Legion Dillworth-Cornell-Quey Post 102, Manchester Connecticut circa 2000
The Post Home circa 1940. At this time the Post Home was called Dillworth-Cornell American Legion Post 102; it was not until 1947, when Mario Quey was added to the charter and became part of the name of the Post Home.
On Saturday, January 23, 2016 the Post home suffered a fire that significantly damaged parts of the Post Home.