Henry "Gene" Burton Sr Memorial, Post 13 Sitka, Alaska

Post 13 History

Centennial Legion Post 13 History


American Legion Post 13 was Chartered on June 4th, 1920,

Chartered Members

Howard D. Stabler, John Green Brady, F.J. Hodgins, Bert Schneider, Peter F. Dempsey, Eiler Hansen, Lonnie M. Powers, Oscar Shineman, Thos. Mugford, Harry W. Conklin, S.G. Thomas, Harvey B. Conover, Waldo C. Mills (Commander) A. Harding, Alfred Tilson.

Six American Legion posts were established before the Territory of Alaska received its permanent charter from the National Headquarters of the American Legion. Sitka was one of the six.  By the time Alaska became a state, it had nearly 30 posts.

Our Auxiliary Unit Post 13 was Chartered on February 21, 1921.


 Freda B. Johnson, Irene Guthridge, Kathryn K. Harding, Edna E. Polley, Mary E. Powers, Clara M. Conklin, Louise S. Hansen,Winnifred K. Stabler, Florence G. Mills, Teresa Beauchamp


In 1922, the Secretary of the Navy turned the issue of cemetery maintenance over to the War Department. In June 1924, upon the recommendation of the Alaska governor and the American Legion Post 13 Sitka, President Calvin Coolidge signed an executive order designating the site Sitka National Cemetery. Since then, there have been several acreage modifications: in 1925, a revision of the executive order reduced the acreage from 3.98 acres to 1.19 acres; in 1957, Sheldon Jackson Junior College donated approximately one acre; a donation of 0.20 acres was made in 1959 by the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church of the United States; and the Department of Interior transferred approximately two acres in the mid-1980s. Sitka National Cemetery currently encompasses 4.3 acres.

Alaska State Flag
Alaska’s current state flag was the winning entry in a contest sponsored by the American Legion in 1927, more than 30 years before the territory became a U.S. state. Designed by John Bell (Benny) Benson, a 13-year-old orphaned Aleut Indian, this flag was formally adopted in May 1927. The flag’s blue background represented the sky and the Forget-me-not, Alaska’s state flower. Against this background are eight gold stars to represent the Big Dipper, a symbol of strength, and the North Star, to represent Alaska’s future as the northernmost U.S. state.




Sitka's citizens raised the idea of adding another resource to the monument in 1933. Elbridge Warren Merrill, the first albeit unofficial custodian of the monument, had become ill with influenza late in 1929. This turned into pneumonia which caused Merrill's death on October 27, 1929. The Sitka post of the American Legion raised money for a commemorative plaque which read:
"Elbridge W. Merrill who dedicated his life and artistic attainments towards picturing the scenic beauties surrounding Sitka, Alaska, in 1932."
According to Eiler Hansen, who wrote as adjutant of the Sitka post to the National Park Service in 1933, the plaque was to be mounted on a natural granite monolith about 14 feet in height. Hansen asked permission to erect the plaque and its monolith within the monument. 
The answer was no. Cammerer replied for Albright: "Mr. Merrill never entered on duty as custodian of the monument . . . I regret that it would be against the policy of the National Park Service to permit its erection within the Sitka National Monument, even had he been officially connected with it." Cammerer asked if the memorial plaque could be placed on the approach to the monument outside it boundaries. It was placed outside the boundaries, where it remained into the 1980s


40/8 Chartered December 12, 1950, Local 1412


Chartered Members

Russell L. Clithero, Robert Eide, Puget V. Faulk, Clyde B. Hager, Carl E. Hardin, Carl H. Karpstein, Victor M. LaMoe, Dormand C. McGraw, Ben C. Miller, W. Langille Morrison Jr., Charles E. Pearl, Garman P. Shutt, Edward W. Van Horn, John H. Van Horn, Wm. Fran???? (water damaged) Charles Whittemore

Re-chartered 21 February 2023

New Chartered Members:

Vincent S. Winter, Troy Wingard, William Glanzer, Samual Pointer, Theodore Allio, William Ward, Charles F. Quimbly, Kihei T. Spencer, Isaiah Gerke and George Bennett Sr


Sons of Legion Chartered January 18th, 1984




State Champions 1955 and 1956

Major League drafts from American Legion Baseball players (Sitka High School):

Eddie Crow - Pitcher -2006 SF Giants


Matt Way – Pitcher -  2008 SF Giants / 2009 Philadelphia Phillies

Moller Field since 1950 supported American Legion Ball and in 2012 the new field was built by non-profits to support the American Legion Baseball.



On April 20th, 2022 we officially became the Henry "Gene" Burton Memorial Post:



Gene, known as “Buddy” in Tennessee, was the younger twin born on Oct. 4, 1940, in Jackson County, Tennessee, to Richard Cecil and Mattie Lou (Norton) Burton.
Education was always important to their family, as his father had a third-grade education and his mother an eighth-grade education. Gene graduated from Cookeville Central High School in 1959 and immediately joined the United States Air Force. While stationed at Elmendorf Air Force base in Anchorage, working as a medical clerk, he met Adeline June Williams of Sitka, who was working as a licensed practical nurse at the Alaska Native Service Hospital in Anchorage. They were married on Nov. 12, 1960, at the Anchorage Courthouse. He was adopted into the Chookaneidi, Wandaa Hit of Hoonah, and given the name of Adeline’s father, Frank O. Williams Sr., Leidoojée.
After moving to Sitka in 1978, Gene worked with the United States Post Office and retired in 1985 after a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed. After recovering, he spent many years helping friends repair radios and CBs as well as advocating for disability rights. He was a proud lifetime member of the American Legion Post #13, serving over the years as Post Commander, Judge Advocate, and Club Manager. Gene's dedication and passion to Post 13 will always be remembered, as he led by example and set the standard. He always had encouraging words for friends and family and lived his life by example, always working hard and living a life filled with dignity and purpose.
"We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth; there is a realm where the rainbow never fades, where the stars will be spread before us like islands that slumber on the ocean, and where the beings that pass before us like shadows will stay in our presence forever." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton


2022 Tlingit Code Talkers recognized officially

Due to the trials and tribulations brought on by COVID, the Alaska Native Brotherhood was unable to present the Congressional Medal to the families of the Tlingit Code Talkers until 2022. Once restrictions were finally lifted Grand Camp was able to travel and present the families with this honor on behalf of their loved ones.

Code talkers event: Senator and USCG Commandant awarding National Flag to the nephew of brothers Mark and Harvey jacobs at American Legion Post 13 Code Talker Event.

Tlingit Code Talkers:

Robert “Jeff” David, Sr.: Post 12, Haines

Richard Bean, Sr.: Post 13, Sitka

George Lewis, Jr.: Post 13 Sitka

Harvey Jacobs, and his brother, Mark Jacobs, Jr.: Post 13, Sitka



Original Post Building before new construction 1998.

Site History click here


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