About Us

Charles E. Swisher VFW Post 1924

 The naming of VFW Post 1924 unfolds as follows: The Fallbrook VFW Post 1924 was established  February  2, 1941 by WW1 veterans. The original twenty eight members   included Walter Hughes, Leon Swisher, Will T. Scott and Frank  Parkinson.  Walter's wife Gertrude became the first President of the  Auxiliary.  Meetings were held in the basement of the Oddfellows Hall.

Charles  E. Swisher attended  the Fallbrook Schools and then joined the Navy on  November 7, 1940. He  was stationed on the Arizona and had been promoted  to seaman first  class. On December 6, 1941 he met Francis and Clayton  Parkinson (Jack  Parkinson's brothers), to attend the "Challenge of the  Bands" concert  on the base. After the concert Charles stood watch on the  Arizona from  midnight to 4AM and then went to sleep.


At  07:55AM December 7, 1941, Japanese planes  from six aircraft carriers  attacked the ships and bases in Hawaii.  At 08:06AM a bomb hit between  and to starboard of turrets #1 & 2 on  the Arizona. It is widely  accepted that the black powder magazine  (used for aircraft catapults)  detonated first, igniting the smokeless  powder magazine (used for  the ships main armament). The cataclysmic  explosion ripped through the  forward part of the ship and after several  more bomb hits, she sank.  Nine minutes after the magazine bomb hit,  the Arizona was setting on the  bottom of the bay and 1,177 of the 1,400  sailors and marines onboard  were killed. Credit for the magazine  bomb hit on the Arizona was  officially given to Japanese pilot  Tadashi Kusumi.

Charles was  sleeping-in on Sunday morning in  the bow area of the Arizona when the  attack started and was killed.  Charles E. Swisher was dead at 19 years, 1  month, and 14 days old. On  December 21st his family was told  that Charles was missing.

War was declared on the Japanese Empire  on  December 7, 1941 by the President after our bases and ships at  Hawaii  were attacked. All of our battleships were damaged or sunk that  day.

There was a lot of patriotism all the U.S.  during the war.  It seemed greater in small towns where you knew all  your neighbors. On  June 12, 1942, the Post's members voted to change  the Post's name and  Charles E. Swisher was added to the Post's  official name. The July 10,  1942 issue of the Fallbrook Enterprise  Newspaper states that VFW  Headquarters had officially changed the name  of the Post.

The day  the war was over was a major event.  In Fallbrook, the 2,700 residents  had sacrificed during the war and  were grateful that it was over. Will  T. and Martha Scott were two of  Fallbrook's prominent and grateful  residents. They owned a  ranch, orchard, an auto dealership and the local  Standard gas station.  Will was active in the Chamber of Commerce and  was Junior Vice  commander in the VFW. They donated two large lots to the  VFW on  September 29, 1945.

Charles' body was sent home in late 1947 and is buried with his grandparents at the Brea Cemetery in Orange County.

Leon William Swisher (1896 - 1958)
Mary Henrietta Ingraham Gregersen (1900 - 1984)

Loma Vista Memorial Park
Fullerton, Orange County, California, USA
Plot: Evergreen Lawn