About Our Post
The Gray-Corkerell Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3746, located on Crawford Road in Rock Hill, was established on September 8, 1938. The founding members were seventeen black veterans who served in armed combat in foreign lands as members of the United States military. During this period of racial segregation in our country, blacks who fought alongside whites in combat were not allowed to join white VFWs when they returned home from war and had to struggle to establish their own VFW posts.
The purpose of the VFW is to provide service, support, and companionship for servicemen after separation from the military. Members are required to undertake the VFW ritual to become part of the organization. The African American members of VFW Post 3746 stood before the altars of comradeship, pledging loyalty to a nation that treated them as second-class citizens and to one another. Through the generations, they have given life to the VFW ritual, for it solemnly binds young and old in the brotherhood of men and women who have fought for America on land, on sea, and in the air. Special ceremonies are held during initiation for new members, funerals, and memorial services throughout the VFW.
The mission of VFW Post 3746 was expanded to provide service in the community. The post serves as a meeting place for community functions and provides activities for youth. Members of the post raise funds for disabled veterans by selling poppies throughout the community. This tradition is continued each November. Other fundraising projects take place throughout the year. The building is open for activities such as family reunions, class reunions, receptions, and birthday parties. In past years, the post has sponsored youth baseball teams and summer parties for neighborhood children.
Membership in VFW Post 3746 has remained strong over the years even though many members are not able to attend post activities because they are homebound due to medical conditions. However, they remain loyal to the post until death once a decision is made to join the comrades. A majority of them are paid-in-full life members. Their allegiance, loyalty, and love for the organization and to comradeship runs very deep. Today, like other groups, the post struggles to attract young veterans who qualify for membership. Very few members are under the age of fifty. The perception of today’s war veterans is vastly different than that of veterans in earlier times. Membership in the post is open to female as well as male veterans. VFW Post 3746 is proud to have several members of the opposite sex within its ranks.
Members of VFW Post 3746 served in the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force. The membership is composed of veterans who experienced combat duty in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the War in the Middle East. Within its ranks are members who served with the Red Ball Express and Montford Point Marines in World War II and others who fought in the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968.
During its history, VFW Post 3746 has been located at several locations in Rock Hill. With little money or resources, the group would meet wherever they found a welcome mat. The post’s first home was the first Henderson Barber Shop located on Moore Street. The post then moved to Hermon Presbyterian Church on Trade Street (now Dave Lyle Boulevard). Next, the group moved out in the county to the old Crawford School on the Chester highway. From there, they moved to the Liberty Hill School off of Highway 21 near Fort Lawn. The next move was back to the city of Rock Hill to the Plair Building located on Main Street. The Plair Building was a two-story structure with a grocery store downstairs and the post met upstairs. The old Gathings Drug Store on Black Street was the next home. Shortly afterwards, the house next door was shared with other groups by the post. Finally, the group was able to purchase a permanent home on Crawford Road. Since the 1940s, the post has been located in this building, which was a former church. The building was purchased from the pastor, who was the mother of a post member.
In 2010, VFW Post 3746 undertook a capital campaign drive to raise funds to build a new home at the Crawford Road location.
VFW Post 3746 Charter Members – September 8, 1938
William L. Diggs
Rueben H. Hunt
Charlie Edward Ervin
John W. Murray
Robert Nelson Toatley
Jacob White, Jr.
Robert Goins, Jr.