On October 16, 2019, I was part of a three-person delegation to journey from McDonough, Ga., to Manila, Philippines. Post 516 is named after Henry County resident Willie B. Hatcher, who left behind his pregnant wife when he was killed in the line of duty in the Philippines on Nov. 1, 1944. Hatcher was the first Henry County citizen to die during World War II. He is buried at the United States Manila American Cemetery located in Manila. The mission was for us to get close to Hatcher's gravesite, lay a wreath, and fly multiple flags over Hatcher's resting place in honor of his memory. There was a special ceremony at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport upon our return from the mission to visit Hatcher's gravesite in the Philippines. We needed to honor him by honoring his sacrifice to our country. His grandson said he's never been able to visit his war hero grandfather's gravesite. One flag brought back will be given to Hatcher's family, and the other will be flown in front of American Legion Post 516. A formal memorial service for Willie B. Hatcher will take place at the Shiloh Baptist Church in McDonough, where American Legion Post 516 resides.
Phillip Stewart, Willie B. Hatcher Post 516