How did the post get the name, Molleville Farm ? Is it a real place or is it just made up?
In July of 1937, 24 veterans of the American Expeditionary Forces gave their VFW post a name which was reminisant of the site where they had fought in France during World War 1 at Molleville Farm. These men all belonged to the 29th Division from Carroll County, Westminster, Maryland. The doughboys of the 29th ended up in France in a small provence called Alsace-Lorraine which is about the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. The terrain would remind you of Maryland. Molleville Farm is located about 6 miles north of Verdun in Northeast France not far from the German border. Mostly Germanic, it is in the Moselle Valley, a coal and iron mining area.
The first and most bitter battle for the 29th took place at Molleville Farm. Here is a short history of the war in the Meuse River area as researched from several sources. When the 29th Infantry Division reached France, they already had six months combat training in the states. By springtime ,1918, they got another two months of war tactics in France. Germany was at their western front and the Marne counter-offensive was on.
By September 25, 1918, the offensive took the allies to the Meuse- Argonne front. The Germans were beginning to lose ground. The 29th Infantry Division was ready for war with Brigadier General Charles W. Barber as their leader and fierce fighting taking place at the Meuse River. The battle at Molleville Farm was disastrous. Going across this land, they not only fought the Germans but also the horrible conditions of the trenches. Trenches were so close that one could hear their enemies talking to each other. The principle inhabitants of the trenches were rats and vermin.
The 29th were encamped in the Valley of the Meuse, waiting for orders to attack. At this stage of the war, they were getting closer to the German border. As the Germans retreated, they destroyed everything in their way. The towns were leveled, villages disappeared. Mustard gas created depression among the allied troops. Of all the death and destruction, the area of Molleville Farm was the bloodiest and fiercest. On September 25, nine divisions were to lead an attack to rid the area of Germans. General Bullard commanded six American divisions. The 29th was sent to the front to relieve the front line soldiers, this was the first time the 29th went to battle. For them it all began at Molleville Farm. The Molleville Farm battle took place on October 15,16,and 17 of 1918.
In 1937, members of the VFW post from Westminster, MD., put forth the name Molleville Farm in memory of the fierce and decisive battle that they fought there. Molleville Farm has been rebuilt and is a working dairy farm.
VFW Post # 467 was chartered in 1937 and met at the Stonehouse Grill in downtown Westminster. In 1947, the Donofrios donated the land where the current post home is located. The members themselves built it with the help of local businesses , like BGE and the Coca Cola company. It continues today because of the hard work of members, and the auxiliaries, both men and women.
The Westminster post raises monies for helping our veterans and their families. It also offers help to our returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. The post and it’s auxiliaries are actively recruiting new members. If you are interested in joining this fine organization you can contact: Commander Tom Williams or Quartermaster Ron Hollingsworth at 410-848-9888. They will inform you of eligibility requirements. We need new members if we are to continue helping our veterans.