Letter to the Editor

Published 9:23 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2006

By Staff
Rushing Post 90 reprints history
In an attempt to reinforce the spirit of the Billy Glenn Rushing Post 90 here in Atmore, we have been seeking information on this heroic veteran of World War I. In that search, this article published in the Atmore Advance on the front page of the August 8, 1929 edition was exactly what we needed.
This article has been reprinted for use in our new member packets for the American Legion Auxiliary to educate new members about the origin of the local American Legion post. The Atmore Advance was gracious enough to allow us to reprint this for our purpose.
Submitted by,
Mary M. Stanley, President
"How Billy Glenn Rushing Post Got Its Name Cited"
The Atmore Advance, 8 August, 1929, Page 1
If you would like to know how Atmore's American Legion Post got its name, and why it was so named, give us your ear for a moment:
The post was named for Billy Glenn Rushing, son of Atmore's present mayor, W.E. Rushing, and wife, who distinguished himself in the service of America in the war with Germany, Austria, Turkey and Bulgaria, in 1917 and 1918, as an aviator in France, losing his life in action.
Born at Troy, Alabama, Sept. 13, 1893, Billy Glenn moved here with his parents a few years later. After attending high school in Atmore he went to the Polytechnic Institute at Auburn, from which school he graduated in 1915 as an electrical engineer.
When trouble with Mexico came in 1916 he enlisted in Company A, 1st Alabama National Guard, June 28. July 1st of that year he was appointed corporal; and Feb. 1, 1917, was promoted to sergeant, then to top sergeant Feb. 15. He saw service on the Mexican border from Oct. 1916 to March, 1917.
After attending the Reserve Officers Training Camp at Ft. McPhearson, Ga. he was recommended for captaincy in the infantry, in May 1917. But he resigned to enter the aviation service, being given an honorable discharge. Re-enlisting, he entered the ground school for training cadet officers in the aviation section of the signal corps July 5, 1917. Being an electrical engineer, he was placed in charge of his squadron detachment, as instructor in wireless while at Georgia Tech.
From this school he graduated Aug. 18, 1917, one of three honor students, being recommended by H. H. Richards, the commandant, to be sent overseas at once to become a full fledged American aviator.
He was sent to New York nd sailed Sept. 8, 1917, on the Adriatic, a White Star Line ship, landing in Italy Oct. 15, 1917. At the Italian aviation camp, Foggia, he was given six months, flying five different types of machines, doing many aerial stunts without a single accident.
March 23, 1918, with other American Eagles in the air, he was sent to guard the Italian front. Against the Austrians this detachment of aerial fighters, numbering 40 daring and capable aviators, proved so efficient and effective that General Pershing ordered the squadron to France, where the great drive destined to smash the Hindenburg line was being fomented.
Billy Glenn was detached from the squadron and given special assignments. He went wherever called – sometimes to pilot a gigantic bombing plane across the line with its cargo of death-dealing missiles, to be poured out on German army camps behind the lines.
It was while on an assignment as ferry pilot, out of Tours, France, guarding off German planes to protect transport ships bringing soldiers and munitions of war into France, that Billy Glenn Rushing lost his life, June 15, 1918.
Making a turn, in some way his machine went into a nosedive, and he was almost instantly killed. Though flying at an altitude of 6000 feet when the accident occurred, when the plane plunged into a wheat field below, his body was not mangled or disfigured in any way.
The plane was the Farman type of French design, which was later condemned for war use.
All of his records show him to have be a true, honest and faithful soldier, loyal to the cause, the type who considers it an honor to die for his country.
After this, his first and last accident, the body of Billy Glenn Rushing, the Atmorean who had so distinguished himself as an American soldier of the air, was laid to rest in Grave No. 84, Tours, France.
Later it was brought back to America, and Atmore, where it was re-interred.
It was in recognition of this record of service that his comrades in arms named their organization, homen and meeting place, when Billy Glenn Rushing Post #90 of the American Legion was chartered Feb. 2, 1923.

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