The community of St. Hedwig, from the Civil War through the Persian Gulf War has had many of her sons serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. Living in the community are five (5) Gold Star Mothers who lost their sons during World War II. During World War II, the citizens of St. Hedwig travelled throughout the City of San Antonio and surrounding communities collecting scrap iron for the war effort. The collection and storage point for all the scrap iron was the Country Store and Meat Market, then owned and operated by Julian Strzelczyk, father of our Past Post Commander, Frank Strzelczyk. After the war, the United States Government paid the community of St. Hedwig for the collected scrap iron. The monies received was donated to the San Antonio War Wardens Association to help build a War Memorial for the War Veterans of Bexar County.
In March of 1946, the men, who had served in the military, of St. Hedwig formed the American Legion Post which is known today as the St. Hedwig American Legion Post 539. The meetings were held at the St Hedwig Club, regionally known as “Dutch’s, owned by Albert “Dutch” Strzelczyk Sr. Post 539 is in the 20th District, 3rd Division of the Department of Texas. On the birthday of The American Legion (National Organization), March 17, 1946, St. Hedwig American Legion Post 539 received its Temporary Charter from the Department of Texas. On December 19, 1946 the Permanent Charter was received from the Department of Texas.
In 1951, The American Legion Post 539 and Julius Strzelczyk entered into an agreement. The agreement between the two parties is that the Legion would purchase a 2 ½ acre tract of land, known as the St. Hedwig Farmers Gin site. This would include improvements on the property of one Gin Building, one seed house, one cotton storage house and one office building.
In 1953, The post home was built. It has served as a Community Center as well as a post home since it was built. The hall is used for many gatherings including weddings, charity events, and of course dances. Next to the hall, there is a baseball field used for youth baseball and soccer. On any given evening, you can see the bright lights of the field shining down on members of the Youth Organization as they compete in friendly games. The post grounds cover 7 1/2 acres of land which most had been donated.
In 2016, The post expanded the Legion Family to include the American Legion Auxiliary. The Auxiliary chartered with 47 members in June. Linda Doege was elected the first President of the Auxiliary.
In March of 2019 the American Legion will be celebrating it’s 100th year Centennial.