Lebanon soldier’s sacrifice recalled by VFW post
By Jeff Brown, Camden VFW Post No. 3238
Special to the United States World War One Centennial Commission web site
Almost 10,000 members of the United States armed services in World War I came from Delaware. Of those, 43 had died by the time the guns fell silent at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918.
For the family of Pvt. Clarence Vinson, the news of the armistice was tinged with uncertainty. James and Maggie Vinson of Lebanon, Del., knew their 28-year-old son was in the midst of some of the heaviest fighting of the conflict. What they did not know was that their only child had not lived to see the end of the war, dying only eight days before the end of the fighting.
In recognition of Vinson’s service and sacrifice, the Camden Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3238, was dedicated in his honor in March 1935.
Larry Josefowski, incoming commander of the Clarence Vinson/John Chason VFW post, reflected on Vinson’s life and legacy.
“Vinson’s story, of one giving his life for his country, is a story that has been 1.6 million times our country’s history,” he said. “Our post is co-named for him as an honor for his sacrifice, but also as a reminder that we must not forget that sacrifice and the sacrifices made by all who answered our nation’s call.”
An ordinary family
Clarence Vinson was a “no-name” baby when he was born at home Jan. 23, 1890, in the Kent County town of Lebanon. His birth certificate, filed two weeks after the fact, showed his parents had yet to settle on a first name. It wasn’t until March 1934 – 15 years after his son’s death – that James officially certified his son’s name with the Delaware Board of Health.