Lewis A. Young Post, No. 3152, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Look at those faces. These are just a few of the men who enlisted in the Navy in May 1917. Not the Portuguese Navy; the United States Navy. It’s a stirring testament that men with intimate ties to their seaside town but almost no cultural bonds to the nation in which they lived should have responded so quickly a month after President Woodrow Wilson declared war. (By the end of World War I, 319 residents of this small town had enlisted in the armed forces.) The ethnic composition also set the tenor of this post, which has long ranked among the more important Portuguese-American social institutions, though it is by no means exclusively so.
The post was formed in 1934 and named in honor of Lewis Armstrong Young, who served aboard the U.S.S. Marietta, a schooner-rigged gunboat. His father, William Henry Young, was the founder of the insurance company now known as Benson Young & Downs, 56 Howland Street, and was also the first president of the Provincetown Art Association, 460 Commercial Street. His family lived at 10 Carver Street, now a unit of the Brass Key. On 15 October 1918, at the age of 22, Lewis Young died of influenza in Bordeaux. He was buried at first in France before his body could be returned home.
The young man at the far right in the picture above, labeled “5,” is Frank B. Fratus, who death is honored at Frank Fratus Square in the West End, where Commercial Street makes its sharp turn.
For two decades, the post was conducted in the former Conant Street School, ±16 Conant Street. The first commander was Clarence E. Silva. The old schoolhouse was sold in 1958. Under Commander Richard Medeiros, this new headquarters was opened in March 1959. The ribbon was cut by Josephine Young McKenna, Lewis Young’s sister. • Assessor’s Online Database, No. 3 • Assessor’s Online Database, No. 3A • Assessor’s Online Database, No. 3R ¶ Posted 2013-02-12