The second post of the Department of Michigan American Legion to be charted was the Carl A. Johnson post 0002 of Grand Rapids MI. Which was granted its charter in 1919.
The post was named in memory of Carl A. Johnson, a 1st LT. of the infantry, 3rd Platoon, Company M, 126th infantry, 32nd division, United States Army.
1st LT. Johnson was the first officer of the 32nd division to be killed in action on German soil in the Alsace sector, Meuhlhouse on June 23,1918 at 5:05 A.M. While leading his squad to a listening post located in "No mans land". Lt. Johnson was 27 years old at the time of his death.
The Carl A. Johnson post under the leadership of post commander Stephen Collins (1924-1925) initiated the lighted memorial pillars in Fulton (Veterans) Park in downtown Grand Rapids. Post member Eugene Osgood was the architect who designed and supervised the erection of these pillars.
Post projects during these early days of the legion included varied welfare and community projects, sponsorship of Boy Scouts, and inauguration of "Junior Legion Baseball League".
John G. Emery was unique in being elected to the office of national commander in 1921 and being elected to the office of 5th District Commander 1919-1920 before being elected to the office of Post Commander 1927-1928.
Ray C. Conlon, Post Commander 1925-1926, was also unique in being elected to the office of Department of Michigan Commander 1928-1929 without being a District Commander.
United States Vice President Charles Gates Dawes 1925-1929 was made an honorary member of the post.
The Carl A. Johnson post was the parent legion organization in the Grand Rapids area. Many of the present posts in the area are spin-offs of the post.