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Congressional Medal of Honor

Post 8 Proudly Displays George J. Peters Medal of Honor


George J. Peters (1924 – March 24, 1945) was a soldier of the United States Army and a recipient of the highest decoration of the United States Armed Forces—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the final stages of World War II during Operation Varsity.

Peters joined the United States Army from his birth city of Cranston, Rhode Island in 1943, and by March 24, 1945 was serving as a private in Company G, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment17th Airborne Division. On that day, his unit was dropped by parachute across the Rhine river near Flüren, suburb of Wesel, Germany. Immediately upon landing, Peters single-handedly attacked a German machine gun emplacement which was firing on his group. He succeeded in destroying the position despite being mortally wounded during his advance. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor eleven months later, on February 8, 1946.

Peters was buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery, in Margraten, the Netherlands.

Medal of Honor Citation

World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Army during World War II as a Private in Company G, 507th Parachute Infantry, 17th Airborne Division. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery at Fluren, Germany, on March 24, 1945. His citation reads "Pvt. Peters, a platoon radio operator with Company G, made a descent into Germany near Fluren, east of the Rhine. With 10 others, he landed in a field about 75 yards from a German machinegun supported by riflemen, and was immediately pinned down by heavy, direct fire. The position of the small unit seemed hopeless with men struggling to free themselves of their parachutes in a hail of bullets that cut them off from their nearby equipment bundles, when Pvt. Peters stood up without orders and began a l-man charge against the hostile emplacement armed only with a rifle and grenades. His single-handed assault immediately drew the enemy fire away from his comrades. He had run halfway to his objective, pitting rifle fire against that of the machinegun, when he was struck and knocked to the ground by a burst. Heroically, he regained his feet and struggled onward. Once more he was torn by bullets, and this time he was unable to rise. With gallant devotion to his self-imposed mission, he crawled directly into the fire that had mortally wounded him until close enough to hurl grenades which knocked out the machinegun, killed 2 of its operators, and drove protecting riflemen from their positions into the safety of a woods. By his intrepidity and supreme sacrifice, Pvt. Peters saved the lives of many of his fellow soldiers and made it possible for them to reach their equipment, organize, and seize their first objective."

A Short History of the American Legion Las Vegas Post 8

In a dusty little byway desert town with dirt streets, a population of about 2,000 and the first airplane had yet to land there; on September 15, 1919, The American Legion Las Vegas Post 8 was chartered. The fifteen original petitioners (and WWI Veterans) were Robert A. Squires, Martin A. Kiwizer, A. J. Foreman, A. Nelson Doak, Joseph Doyle, Luther C. Kent, Edwin W. Fullmer, Lawrence P. Miller, John Flagis, J. Bennett, Francis C. DeVinney, Dennis C. Ward, Arthur H. Johnson, Ralph Thomas and J. W. McLaughlin. The initial Post membership was 40 persons. Within three years twenty-eight women created the women's auxiliary. Las Vegas is now the number one destination spot in the world and the largest city in the world started in the twentieth century. 

The originating American Legion meeting was held at the Methodist Church, after that they were meeting at the Mesquite Club building but they really wanted to have a Post Home "where men could be men" (their words). 

The first Post Home was a store bought in Goodsprings, transported in two pieces over 60 miles of pot-holed dirt roads on hard-tired trucks and re-set up on two lots the Post had purchased at 209 S. 3rd St. for less than $200.00 (at the corner of Bridger St., across from the Court House) and dedicated on February 22, 1922. In the early days the Post supported itself primarily by hosting boxing matches and other events in an outdoor sports arena built behind the post. This arena was host to Will Rogers who gave an impromptu speech there that was later published in the Saturday Evening Post, the arena also hosted the first live radio sports broadcast in the State of Nevada. By 1924, Las Vegas Post 8 was the largest American Legion Post in the state. 

In the early 1930's the Post was instrumental, after five years of hard work and frustration, in having their dream The American Legion War Memorial Building erected (which became the community center at the time) at 5th St. (now Las Vegas Blvd) and Stewart. The Post used this building as their Post Home from the early 1930's until 1947. From the early 1940's on, the War Memorial Building was also the seat of the City of Las Vegas Government, which they eventually took over, purchased and replaced the original building in 1973 with the new high rise City Hall. 

In 1947, the Post Home was relocated to 5th Street (now Las Vegas Blvd) just north of San Francisco Street (now Sahara Avenue) on 2.6 acres (26 lots) that the Post had purchased for $800 in the mid 1930's "way out in the desert". This was done by purchasing the Officers Club building at the recently closed Army Camp Williston in Boulder City and moving it onto the property. 

On November 11, 1955; the present Post Home was dedicated at 733 No. 2nd Street (now Veteran's Memorial Drive) just past Bonanza Road on land donated by three Legionnaires: Cyril Wengert, A. E. Cahlan and Archie Grant (yes, the same Archie Grant who was instrumental in having UNLV built). Since then a meeting hall/banquet room wing (1962), covered patio (2007) have been added and the kitchen has been upgraded and brought up to code. 

Several of our Past Post Commanders have been noteworthy men of Southern Nevada and have awards, schools, buildings and/or streets named after them 

Las Vegas Post 8 has continued to be an active and vital part of the community, the Post annually awards 5 scholarships to deserving High School Seniors, has consistently sent more than 20 boys a year to Boys State, sponsors Junior ROTC shooting and drill teams at local High Schools, presents Junior ROTC and Middle School scholastic and citizenship awards, sponsors a Boy Scout Troop, feeds homeless veterans on Thanksgiving, hosts a children's Christmas Party, it's Color Guard has won many honors over the years, it's sponsored baseball teams that have been highly rated and won state championships, the Post has sponsored many other athletic teams and events. The Post has a float and participates in many local parades; the Post started and organized the Veterans Day Parade until 2001 when it was taken over by VFW Post 1753. Due to the Post's efforts the park on Washington Avenue and Mojave Road was re-named "Freedom Park" and wives of POW's and MIA's planted 22 trees in an elaborate ceremony there on April 8, 1973. The Post also participates, and is active, in numerous other veteran's affairs, concerns and needs besides giving veterans and their family's emergency financial assistance and participating in funeral honors for veterans. 

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