"First in the World"
Post # 14 American Legion Ambulance Service
In 1924, the members of the David C. Harrison American Legion Post # 14 initiated the first American Legion ambulance service in the world. Its eighteen founding members were veterans of World War I who volunteered their time to transport the sick and injured to hospitals in Wilmington, Dover, Milford, and beyond. Prior to this time, persons needing medical assistance were transported by train. This practice was often time-consuming and thereby dangerous to patients who were seriously ill and in need of treatment. At the time of its founding, services were provided to a district that extended from Summit Bridge to Milford. Originally located on South Main Street in Smyrna, the service was moved to this location in 1961.
The Post # 14 American Legion Ambulance Service has been in continuous operation since its founding, and now serves an area from the Delaware Bay to the Maryland border, from Collins Beach to Garrison’s Lake. Staffed largely by volunteers, the service was responsible for answering more than 25,000 calls for assistance during its first seventy-five years of operation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Delaware Public Archives series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1924.
Location. 39° 18.108′ N, 75° 36.722′ W. Marker is in Smyrna, Delaware, in Kent County. Marker is at the intersection of West Glenwood Avenue and North Walnut Street, on the right when traveling east on West Glenwood Avenue. Marker is on the front wall of the ambulance building. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Smyrna DE 19977, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sgt. John B. Maberry (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of Old Asbury Methodist Church (about 700 feet away); Home of Allen McLane (approx. 0.2 miles away); The John Cummins Mansion (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Peter's Episcopal Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Green Pottery (approx. ¼ mile away); Presbyterian Church of Smyrna (approx. ¼ mile away); Thornley House (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Smyrna.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 16, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 846 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 16, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.