11617 2nd Ave, Stone Harbor Stephen C. Ludlam For God And Country
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Post 331

About

The American Legion Post 331 was chartered on March 30, 1946. Our namesake is Stephen C. Ludlam. At the time of our organization, we received permission from Mr. and Mrs. Jesse D. Ludlam of Stone Harbor to name the new post in honor of their son, Private First Class (PFC) Steven C. Ludlam. PFC Ludlam was killed in action at the age of 19 near Ostheim, France on June 19, 1945. For his heroic action on that date, he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, an award second only to the Medal of Honor. His brother, John Ludlam an Army Air Corps member, was a charter member of the new post.

What Makes Our Post Unique

Post 331 is unique primarily because it is fortunate enough to have been able to purchase and restore a deactivated U. S. Coast Guard station that was formerly an 1895 U. S. Life-Saving Service station as its Post building. The building not only serves as a meeting place for legionnaires, but it also houses a life-saving museum on its first floor and a military museum on its second floor. The buildings tower offers a panoramic view of the southern part of Seven Mile Island (formerly Seven Mile Beach). Legion and S. A. L. members provide free tours of the historic building five days a week during the summer.

Post 331 is also unique among many Posts because it services the summer resort communities of Avalon and Stone Harbor whose populations, to include active legion members, drastically fall during the off-season months. As a result, the Post is closed during the months of February and March. The Post has a membership of over 280 members. Our membership is comprised of past and present members of our nation's military services, the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Coast Guard and the Air Force, and as such all were and are required to serve under an oath very similar to that of the surf men’s motto... And now they carry on the American Legion tradition of "Serving those who serve America".

Serving Those Who Have Served - Veterans Need Your help!

Across the nation and especially here in New Jersey where over 450,000 Veterans reside too many are in financial and medical need. American Legion Post 331 in Stone Harbor is a volunteer organization of current and former military personnel whose primary objective is supporting those who served and are currently serving our country. Through the fund-raising activities of our members and the support of the community, over the last 5 years, our Post has donated over $100,000 to the following Veteran and local organizations:

  • Vineland Veterans Home
  • Veterans Haven CVAC
  • United States Coast Guard
  • Honor Flight
  • Run for the Fallen Wounded Warriors Project
  • and more.

Community projects including Cameron Compare’s Eagle Scout Project.  Go to Our Donation Section On Our Website to Help Us Help Local Veterans and Organizations

United States Life-Saving Service

In 1848 New Jersey Congressman, Dr. William A. Newell, after witnessing the loss of lives on a ship grounded 300 yards from the New Jersey coast, spearheaded a bill to establish lifesaving stations along the east coast. He was responsible for an 1854 Act of Congress that established the United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS). This originally loose knit organization was more formally designed and organized in 1871 under the leadership of Sumner Kimball and started to expand coverage along the east coast, the Great Lakes and the west coast. Forty-one stations were established in New Jersey, which had more than any other state due to the significant off-shore traffic and the length and unique configuration of the coast.

United States Life-Saving Service

On Seven Mile Beach the first station was located on or around 80th street and consisted of an 1855 design which housed rescue equipment only. In 1872 this was replaced with a Red House style station which had provisions for both equipment and personnel. In 1893 and 1895 "Duluth" architectural style stations were built in Avalon and Stone Harbor, respectively, replacing the 1872 station and both structures still exist... Avalon's as a private residence and Stone Harbor's as the home of the American Legion Post 331. Approximately 28 stations of this type architecture were constructed and only about 11 or 12 remain in existence today. From 1895 until 1915 the Stone Harbor (Tatham) Station belonged to the United States Life-Saving Service and was manned, operated and maintained by a Keeper and a crew of Surfmen.

In addition to PFC Ludlam, our building has a history of medal winners. In late December 1912, during a particularly bad storm, the Life-Saving Station was called on to rescue the crew of the sea going tug boat "Margaret" which was forced to release her barges and head for shore as a result of weather related problems. She grounded approximately 300 yards off shore with a crew of eleven. The ensuing rescue efforts were absolutely amazing and included: the capsizing of the Stone Harbor motorized surfboat when almost to the tug; the entire Stone Harbor crew getting back to shore despite the distance from shore and the cold, extremely turbulent seas; the eventual rescue, using an Avalon Station oared surfboat manned by a combined Stone Harbor and Avalon crew; the saving of 10 of the 11 crew members (one was lost trying to get to shore by himself); and the resulting award of Gold Life-Saving Medals (the highest honor possible) to the 8 Stone Harbor and 4 Avalon life savers.

These actions truly exemplified the surfmen's courage and their dedication to duty and how they lived up to the Life-Saving Service motto.... "You have to go out buy you don't have to come back".

United States Coast Guard

In 1790 the Revenue Cutter Service was established by Congress to enforce tariffs, trade laws and to prevent smuggling. In 1915 the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service and received its present name, the U.S. Coast Guard, and took on the combined responsibilities of marine law enforcement and marine safety and rescue. Consequently, at that time our facility became a Coast Guard Station manned with Coast Guard personnel and continued as such until the late 1940's. This period of time included two World Wars during which the tower served additionally as a coastal look-out facility for enemy submarines and/or spy landing activity.
After WWII, the Coast Guard started consolidating their operations and most of the original Life-Saving Stations were no longer necessary and were made available to others for use as the acquiring party saw fit.

American Legion and U.S. Coast Guard

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STEPHEN C. LUDLAM, POST 331  •  11617 2ND AVE, STONE HARBOR  •  FOR GOD AND COUNTRY
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