About Us

History

Founding

Gurtler Brothers VFW Post 420 was chartered on May 24, 1910 with thirty veterans who had served in the Spanish-American War, Mexican Border War or World War I.

 

The First Post Commander was Frank B. Howe, Jr.  who served with Co. K, 105th Infantry, 27th Division in Europe during World War I.

 

The Post is named in memory of two Saratoga Springs, NY brothers, Corporal William and Private George H. Gurtler, Jr..  Both served with Co. L, 2nd N.Y. Infantry, U.S. National Guard in Mexican Border Service (1916) and with Headquarters Co., 105th Infantry, 27th Division in World War I.  Both brothers were killed in action on October 20, 1918 while serving with their division on the Hindenburg Line Offensive.  Both brothers are buried in France.

 

Their nephew, William P. Kelly, son of James and Bertha Gurtler Kelly, served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Corps during the "Battle of Britain" as a fighter pilot.  William was lost over the North Sea on February 5, 1943.

 

The Post has held meetings since 1920 at the Spanish-American War Veterans Hall on Pavilion Place, the Armory on Lake Avenue, the Saratoga Veterans Home on Broadway and at VFW Post Homes on East Van Dam Street and High Rock Avenue before building its present Post Home on the corner of Excelsior Avenue and Veterans Way in 1975.

 

Post membership is presently over 350 veterans whose eligibility is dependent on overseas service which resulted in the award of a Campaign Service Medal, Expeditionery Medal or Navy Deterrent Patrol Pin.

 

The current Post Commander is Timothy J. Herbert, a retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer.

 

The Post has an active Ladies Auxiliary with Marie King as its President.  A newly formed Men's Auxiliary has over 50 members and Roger J. Bechard is their current President.  Monthly Post and Auxiliary meetings are held at the Post Home at 190 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs, New York.