Our post was named after Alberton W. Vinal, a North Chelmsford resident. Born on January 11, 1895, he attended Chelmsford schools, and after graduation found work as a milkman. At the outbreak of WWI he enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard. He was assigned to Co. K 6th Infantry and was made a Wagoneer. He was soon transferred to the 101st Engineering Train of The U.S. Army’s 26th Division, and later the Yankee Division.
He was sent to Europe on April 13, 1917, where he drove a truck on the battlefields of France. On June 19, 1918, he was killed by enemy fire while driving his truck across a battlefield in Bouco, France. He was the first Chelmsford soldier to be killed in the War.
Soon after his death his mother, Elizabeth, was named the first president of the Chelmsford American Legion Unit. She became Chelmsford’s first Gold Star Mother.
A few years later a statue, dedicated to all of Chelmsford’s war dead, and a plaque dedicated to Lt. Egbert F. Tetley, Cpl. George R. Quessy, and Alberton W. Vinal, was erected in what is now called Vinal Square. The Chelmsford American Legion Unit was also renamed the Alberton W. Vinal American Legion Post 313
POW MIA TABLE
- The table is round – to show our everlasting concern.
- The cloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.
- The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans, and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.
- The red ribbon symbolizes our continued determination to account for them.
- A slice of lemon reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
- A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families who long for answers after decades of uncertainty.
- The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return – alive or dead.
- The Bible represents the strength gained through faith in our country, founded as one nation under God, to sustain those lost from our midst.
- The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share a toast.
- The chairs are empty – they are missing.