Paul W. Mitchell Jr.
American Legion Post 114
In the mid-1940s, African American soldiers from Manassas started to return home from World War II. They sought organizational affiliate with veterans that had shared the common experience of war and service to nation in uniform.
As a result of Jim-Crow, and the laws of segregation in the South, these Virginian soldiers were not permitted to join veteran organizations with Whites—including the American Legion. In 1945, sixteen (16) African American veterans residing in Manassas, Virginia, petitioned the National Headquarters of the American Legion for a charter to conduct official meetings.
On April 26, 1945 the National Headquarters, located in Indianapolis, Indiana issued a Temporary Charter to these 16 individuals under the title “Colored Post 114 of Manassas, VA.” Just over a year later, June 7, 1946, the Department of Virginia issued a permanent Charter, removing the words “Colored Post” and giving the Post its new designation as Post 114.
Today, none of the sixteen original members are alive. Although he was not an original charter member, but because of the contributions made to the Post by comrade Paul W. Mitchell, Jr, the Post was later named in his honor in 2002.
Throughout the many years of its existence, the Post has always remained vibrant in serving military veterans and the Manassas community. The membership continues to carry the touch raised by its charter members and comrade Mitchell by giving veterans an arena to serve and reflect on their time-honored service to their country.
Its membership today is comprised of men and women who took part in wars from WW II to the Iraq and Afghanistan. The Post is represented by all five military services, the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Air Force.
In 2002, the Post initiated a tradition of hosting an Annual Charter Dinner to honor its sixteen original members. This celebration is held yearly to show our continuing appreciation and respect for those early pioneers who created the organization for all American veterans, the American Legion Post 114.