Remembering: Lt. Col Herbert Mills, Jr.

Today we are honoring Lt. Col Herbert Mills, Jr. Herbert came to El Paso in 1939 from Sterling City and joined the Active 20-30 Club of El Paso #96 shortly thereafter. In 1940 he joined the Army and was stationed in Fort Bliss before being deployed to the European Theatre. While serving with the 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division he was awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star for his actions. On November 17th, 1944 near Scherpenseel and Hastenrath, Germany, Lt. Col Mills led his task force over difficult terrain, across dense minefields and through devastating enemy fire to secure a vital objective. On the initial day of the assault, one of his tanks was hit blocking the advance of the column through a lane cleared of mines. Lieutenant Colonel Mills dismounted from his tank, personally directed engineers in clearing another lane, and led his force through the minefield. While reorganizing his position, a shell struck within a few feet of him, causing injury to his right leg. Though in much pain, he refused medical aid and continued his reconnaissance on foot to improve his positions. Although he lost all officers of his medium tank companies and thirty-three tanks, Lieutenant Colonel Mills kept his force effectively organized and, in the face of enemy opposition, captured his objective without infantry support. While Lieutenant Colonel Mills was in the process of communicating with higher headquarters to report that his mission was accomplished, a shell struck the building above his tank, fatally wounding him. For his actions he was awarded the army’s second-highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross. He was survived by his wife Claire Mills and his two year old son Herbert Mills III.

Members from New Mexico in WWII

To kick off the week of Memorial Day, we would like to take today to remember the Active 20-30 members from New Mexico who lost their lives during WWII. While it may seem odd to focus on the state instead of a club or an individual, their stories are tragically similar. All of these men were also members of various units of the New Mexico National Guard and were inducted into federal service as The 200th Coast Artillery Regiment on January 6th, 1941, for one year of active duty training. They were chosen for an assignment in the Philippines over a regiment from Arkansas because of the fluency in Spanish and arrived in Luzon in September of 1941.

On December 8th, 1941, a mere 10 hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese bombers appeared over the horizon in the Philippines. After 3 months of fierce fighting, the 76,000 starving and sick American and Filipino defenders in Bataan surrendered on April 9, 1942. While they managed to survive the infamous Bataan Death March on which 7,000–10,000 POWs died or were murdered, all but one were unable to survive their internment at the various POW camps. The lone survivor was killed when the ship taking him to Japan for interrogation was sunk in the Pacific. Some only lasted a few weeks while others lasted years but their names and stories are engraved on twelve granite columns at Bataan Memorial Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Those brave men were:
• Pfc. Claude Fleming, Carlsbad #202 – 6/10/1942
• 1SG George Moore, Artesia #231 – 5/20/1942
• Maj. Richard Riley, Albuquerque #103 – 11/13/1942
• Capt. Karl Schroeder, Clovis #225 – 1/19/1945
• Capt. John Beall, Clovis #225 – 2/8/1945
• Sgt. John Shields, Jr., Clovis #225 – 11/24/1942

Thank you for your service.

Family Research Inquires

Love getting inquires from people researching their family member’s time in Active 20-30. They either knew their family member was in the organization, or are surprised to find out when going through mementos after they passed away. I would like to share these with you because it’s nice for us to also learn about some wonderful past members.

“I am doing family research and my father Herbert Noel Worsham (1924-1981) was a member of the 20-30 Club during the 1940’s-1950’s while residing in Yorba Linda, California. He spoke of various things that he was involved in with that group while I was growing up. I have 2 small 20-30 Club lapel pins that he had and used as tie pins. He had served as President at some time during his involvement in the 20-30 Club.”

This photo was included in the email; Herbert Noel Worsham is the one on the left. The other two gentlemen are Tag Manning (middle) immediate past president for Southern California District, and Jimmy Walker, Orange Club president in 1953.

Memorabilia Sent

A gentleman had wanted to donate some of his father’s 20-30 stuff (the dad was Mel Polley, Association of 20-30 Club’s President in 1934) He had Googled “20-30 club” and found my history blog and wrote to me. I was so excited and happy he made that effort to give back a piece of history from the 1930s to the organization.

20-30 Club World War II Memorial Plaque

During the Twentieth Annual “Victory” Convention, August 19 – 25, 1946 in Sacramento, California a memorial plaque was reveled.

On Wednesday, August 21st, represented the opening Plenary Session in the State Assembly Chambers. The location of this gather was particularly convenient and appropriate. The sea of delegate’s serious faces silently announced to the leaders in the rostrum that they were ready for business and prepared to map the year’s future. National President Jim Vernetti presided and after “America” and the Pledge to the Flag, Past National President Abbe Strunck of San Antonio, Texas, gave the invocation. Committee and officer reports followed until the time had arrived for the Period of Remembrance for the 20-30ians who had given their lives in World War II. The audience consisted principally of delegates and officials with a few 20-30ians and visitors who had realized such a ceremony was to take place. In view of the program which followed, absolutely every person in attendance at the convention should have been present because without having witnessed the Period of Remembrance they returned to their homes without the memory of something which would never leave them. The celebrated Convention Bureau Stringed Ensemble with its women’s choir augmented the solemnly conducted ceremony consisting of Invocation, Unveiling of the Memorial, reading of the names of the casualties, the Eulogy and “Lest We Forget”. The Creation Hymn, Green Cathedral, Lord’s Prayer, My Buddy, and Day is Done, was sung in the soft clear tones of bells tolling in the distance. Only the light tap of the gavel opened the half-hour period, and only “Taps” and another light touch of the gavel closed it. The assembly slowly wended its way out, speechless and silent in reverence of that which had just been witnessed.

(Twenty-Thirtian, October 1946, pp11-12)

In Memoriam

As listed in January 1946 issue.
The Association of 20-30 Clubs, permanent War Memorial plaque with the names of war casualties inscribed thereon.
54 clubs reported 75 casualties.

Rank – Name – Location – Club Number

  • T/Sgt. Jesse W. Andrew – Alice #239
  • Lt. Robert M. Arthur – Corpus Christi #199
  • Lt. Herb Baker – Sacramento #1
  • Sgt. Robert E. Baly – El Centro #115
  • CM 2/c William E. Bates – Beaumont #185
  • Joe Bates – Fresno #12
  • 2nd Lt. Mayo Bills – Houston #192
  • Joseph H. Boyle – Madera #160
  • Capt. Frank D. Bradford – Fresno #12
  • Lt. (j.g.) Donald R. Brown – Healdsburg #215
  • 1st Lt. Loren Bubar – San Luis Obispo #93
  • Lt. Wilmer L. Buzan – Corona #26
  • Lawrence Chenoweth, Jt. – Bakersfield #27
  • Pvt. Kenneth Cole – Flagstaff #142
  • Chf. Pharm. Nick Colabella – Santa Rosa #50
  • SC/2 Edwin J. Cook – Redding #143
  • Pfc. Woodrow Cornett – S.W. Los Angeles #206
  • Joe DeClark – S.W. Los Angeles #206
  • Duray Dorsey – San Bernardino #3
  • Lt. Ernest Emery – Kingman #157
  • Pfc. John W.R. Engholm – Gallup #180
  • Maj. John Evans – Seattle #215
  • Lt. Pierre Ferran – Napa #57
  • Claude Fleming – Carlsbad #202
  • Lt. James Fowler – Santa Barbara #42
  • Warren Feeland – Bakersfield #27
  • Robert Fulton – Idaho Falls #114
  • Robert Gardner – Patterson #91
  • Lt. Daniel H. Gatti – Westwood #200
  • Lt. Waldorf George – Pomona #9
  • Lt. S. Kenneth Graff – Alhambra #117
  • 1st Lt. Edward Hampton – Taft #77
  • 2nd Lt. O.W. Handy – Riverside #10
  • S/Sgt. Norbert Hans – Redding #143
  • Sgt. Preston Harris – Corpus Christi #199
  • 1st Lt. William L. Hart, Jr. – Kingman #157
  • Lt. John H. Hartsfield – Gallup #180
  • Charles Heller – San Antonio #167
  • 1st Lt. George B. Herbert – Houston #192
  • Corp. William L. Hoyt – Ontario #13
  • Lt. George Hudnutt, Jr. – Sacramento #1
  • Edward J. Jacobs – Flagstaff #142
  • S 1/c Arthur F. Johnsen – Huntington Park #16
  • Lt. Leonard A. Johnson – Corpus Christi #199
  • Lt. George Jones – Sacramento #1
  • Dave Kaufman – San Antonio #167
  • Lt. A.S. Kidd – Santa Monica #233
  • Ernest Krohnert – Mt. Shasta #203
  • Ens. William Laws – Santa Rosa #50
  • Lt. Robert T. Marquess – Carlsbad #202
  • 1st Lt. Pike B. Martin, Jr – Fresno #12
  • Lt. Admiral McDonald – San Antonio #167
  • Maynard Melmick – Van Nuys #207
  • Lt. Byron Michaelson – Huntington Park #16
  • George Moore – Artesia #231
  • Capt. John Mulvaney, Jr. – Alameda #183
  • Sgt. Floyd Oehlerking – Long Beach #29
  • Lt. Frederick H. Palmer – Palo Alto #25
  • Pfc. Sanator J. Passarino – Healdsburg #205
  • Pfc. Clifford E. Patton – San Francisco-Park Presidio #246
  • Lt. William H. Paulsen, Jr. – Salinas #44
  • Ivan Richardson – Bakersfield #27
  • Richard Riley, M.D. – Albuquerque #103
  • Lt. Glen Salisbury – Idaho Falls #114
  • Harry Schellhase – San Antonio #167
  • Lee J. Shudde – Houston #192
  • Rm 1/c David Solari – Chowchilla #249
  • Pvt. Joseph Spina – Los Banos #108
  • Lt. Jack R. Stewart – San Antonio #167
  • Corp. Garth B. Tillotsen – Ogden #179
  • Pfc. Marshall Weimer – Napa #57
  • Lt. Stanley Wells – Wilmington #177
  • Charles Wiese – Patterson #91
  • Lt. Jack Wiles, Jr. – Burbank #127
  • Lt. (j.g.) David Wright – Sacramento #1

As listed in May 1946 issue.
Additional war casualties have been reported to the Association of 20-30 Clubs. Following names will be added to the plaque.

Rank – Name – Location – Club Number

  • Foster Beal – Clovis #225
  • Bud Edwards – Highland Park #226
  • Lt. Jack Hodgins – Santa Barbara #42
  • Bob Jensen – Highland Park #226
  • RM 3/c Howard Keffer – Brawley #150
  • Bob Maxon – Highland Park #226
  • Lt. Col. Herbert Mills – El Paso #96
  • Ray McGinley – Santa Ana #22
  • Lt. Don Riley Powell – Fallon #40
  • 2d. Lt. Bert Ross – Santa Rosa #50
  • Carl Schreider – Clovis #225
  • Dr. H.J. Seyfarth – Turlock #68
  • John Shield – Clovis #225
  • S/Sgt. John C. Walden – El Paso #96

 

THE MAGAZINE (or evolution of)

I’ve been wanting to share a little of the evolution of the Active 20-30 publication. These right now are just the magazine covers of the changes through the years. I’m hoping to dig deeper and find articles within talking about the changes. As you will see; as the organization’s name changes and two groups merge, so did their magazines.

Active 20-30 Club, United States and Canada association has in their current bylaws a section for our official publication.

Article XII [Official Publication]
Section 1. Publication and Title: The association shall publish, or cause to be published under its control, a periodical under the official title of “Active Twenty-Thirtian

There are a couple more sections detailing the editorial staff, subscriptions, and club correspondents. I am not highlighting those areas at the moment so we’ll leave them be.The first couple of the 20-30 magazines were more like bulletins of clubs and events and what occurred. This was the first cover for the Association of 20-30 Clubs (1927).  Recap: this is the group of 20 to 30 year olds that started out in Sacramento, California.This is the first cover for the Active Club (1928) Recap: This is the group of 20 to 30 year olds that started out in Aberdeen, Washington.Next, we have the magazine cover when 20-30 International and Active International merged together into one organization (1960s).Lastly, a couple more when they became smaller publications after International split into different national association groups. These represent the United States and Canada’s magazine. Couldn’t find any International ones at the time of this posting.

The First 5 Conventions of 20-30

Here’s a little tidbit from the 20-30 history files

The first year the Association of 20-30 Clubs (as the Active 20-30 was then known) started having convention meetings was December 11, 1926 in Sacramento, California. About 15 members from 7 clubs attended. At that meeting, they approved and welcomed the 8th club into the Association, which was Reno, Nevada. The first club formed out of the state of California.

1927 had 3 more convention meetings held for the Association of 20-30 clubs to get together and members could have a merry time and approve more clubs into it’s organization. Here’s a brief note of those conventions:

April 9-10, 1927 – Second convention meeting held in San Bernardino, California

– Resolution was introduced by San Bernardino which proposed the division of the member clubs into district groups.

– Standard Constitution for member clubs was adopted

August 13-14, 1927 – Third convention meeting held in Reno, Nevada

– Changes made in the Association’s constitution and By-Laws, a brief outline of which follows: New delegates will be elected and will meet on the second Saturday of next December. Thereafter an annual convention will be held between the 15th of August and the 15th of September each year. The elected officers of the Association will be a President, Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer. Immediately after his election, the President shall divide the territory embraced by the Association into districts and shall appoint a District Governor to supervise club activities in each district, they to serve at the pleasure of the President.

– The Twenty-Thirtian was authorized as the official publication of the Association, with Ed Cain appointed as Editor. It will be published monthly and one copy will be sent to each club for each active member on its rolls.

December 10, 1927 – Fourth convention meeting held in Fresno, California

– By the time of this convention meeting, 18 clubs had been formed and accepted into the organization. And about 100 members attended this convention. Quite a difference from the 15 at the first one.

August 1928 – Fifth convention meeting held in Stockton, California

Bob Hope Entertains Banning

by Don “Louie” Keele

An Tuesday night, February 24, millions of listeners throughout the North American continent and probably some overseas, heard about Banning and its 20-30 Club. Bob Hope brought his program to Banning to help our club secure money for its Building Fund.

In addition to his regular broadcast, Bob did a special hour show after leaving the air. Vera Vague, Jerry Colona, guest star Clifton Webb and announcer Wendell Niles were the principal performers. Les Brown and his orchestra were generous with their fine music.

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President Milton Callopy presented the comedian with a blue and grey western shirt bearing the inscription “Healthy Baskers” in gold lettering. This is the name our club is known by.

Bob Hope made presentations of gold football trophies to the outstanding football players of the Banning High School football squad of 1947 on behalf of our club.

Community leaders have expressed their appreciation of the work of our club in bringing the Hope show to Banning, and stated it was one of the best publicity features the community has ever had. Every seat in the auditorium was occupied and the entire event was outstanding.

When Pauls and Founders meet (20-30 & Rotary)

Fun find: “When Pauls and Founders meet. It was a moment mutually enjoyed when Rotary International’s incoming Governor Paul Claiborne, left, of Auburn, California, met Rotary’s Founder Paul Harris, and told him the idea for the 20-30 Clubs came to him at a Rotary Luncheon. Governor Claiborne organized the first of these young men’s clubs nineteen years ago.
(Twenty-Thirtian magazine, year 1941)

Happy 95th Anniversary to the Active 20-30 Club Sacramento #1

Every year, we raise our glasses all around the world to celebrate Sacramento #1’s anniversary and the beginning of Active 20-30 International. I would ask for stories, memories, and photos of people’s time in the organization.

Back in December 2012, we celebrated turning 90 years. I came across a post from Robert Allen who is a past active of Sacramento #1. It continues to be a wonderful memory that I want to re-share five years later. Cheers!!

Happy 90th birthday to the Active 20-30 Club Sacramento #1. It is……very simply……the greatest service organization in the world!!! President Richard Nixon, Congressman Robert Matsui, Senator Barry Goldwater, Governor Pete Wilson and hundreds of the most influential businessmen in the Sacramento Region have been members of the Active 20-30 Club. The club was founded here in Sacramento and has since grown worldwide helping young people come together for leadership development, personal growth and friendship. All while helping the children in their respective communities! I am a PROUD past active member of the organization and am very humble to be part of it over the years!

I still think many people in the community have no idea what we do. A singles group…….a networking organization? Really?? So far from the truth. Our “hands on” events focus on having 20-30 members actually spend time with and help underprivileged or disadvantaged kids in the area. Our events range from our annual Michael Smythe Cancer Kids Party to the Back to School and Holiday Shopping Sprees that give us the opportunity to buy clothing and toys for children in need. Don’t get me wrong. We throw a great party and have thrown many of them to raise millions of dollars. Just so you know……100%…..that is 100% of proceeds go to charity!!!!! Nothing goes to anyone in the club. Listen to these numbers. In Sacramento Club #1 alone there have been thousands of men, that have raised millions of dollars, helping tens of thousands of children, assisting hundreds of non-profits and volunteering hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of man hours!!! Just in Sacramento.

The most moving event for me was a few years ago at the Mike Smythe Cancer Kids Party. Sitting on plastic chairs, face to face with a girl that was about 7 and fighting cancer. Her parents and healthy sister watched from across the room while eating pizza. I was painting a snowflake on her cheek. I am NOT an artist. My buddy Robb W. in the club is a pro at this, but not me. I held her chin with my left hand and painted with my right. We talked about Christmas, her family, her medical staff and school. Her face was not far from mine and we talked eye to eye as I tried to paint. She was a beautiful little girl and wearing a blonde wig. At one point I told her that “her hair” was beautiful (and winked)…just letting her know I knew it was a wig. The party wasn’t over, but my painting was complete. As her parents walked over I said something like, “You are a special girl. Have a Merry Christmas and YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL GIRL whether you have hair or not.” …and I smiled! I am not sure if it was the right thing to say or not……she is not my daughter……I only met her that day. I went on to my next attempt at face painting. Later when it was close to the end of the party a man’s voice gave a little shout across the room….”Rob!” I turned to look and there she was with her family waving as they walked out the door……..HER DAD RUBBING HER BALD HEAD AND SMILING!

Our motto is timeless and is as true today as it was 90 years ago! “One never stands so tall as when kneeling to help a child.”….or in my case painting a snowflake on a child’s cheek.

Here is to another 95 years!