|The first meetings of VFW Post 10066 were held in this building, which at that time was a bar owned by VFW Charter Member Cecil Branford
On Aug. 3, 1967, seventy-five veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, formed the Maurice K. Langberg Veterans of Foreign War Post 10066 in Jensen Beach – named after a heroic World War II fighter pilot from Jensen Beach.
Lt. Maurice Kurt Langberg, whose nickname was “Ace,” flew a Spitfire airplane in North Africa and the Mediterranean during the war. He was wounded, captured twice behind enemy lines, escaped once and became a German prisoner of War. He died in a plane crash in 1950 at age 33.
The first meetings of the newly formed VFW Post 10066 were held in a building, owned by charter member Cecil F. Branford on Jensen Beach Boulevard. The building today is a law office. The Post’s first commander was Russell K. Wiedow.
Members of VFW Post 10066 soon began looking for land to make a home of their own.
The only living charter member, Samuel N. Rhodes, said the members purchased the land where the VFW Post 10066 is located today for $15,000 in about 1969. Each of the members pitched in their own money to buy the land and each was later reimbursed as the VFW raised money.
The land was vacant until the developer of a shopping center at Jensen Beach Boulevard and Savannah Road (now the Winn-Dixie shopping center) offered to give the Post a white house located on the corner of what then was a heavily wooded area.
Mr. Rhodes said members of the VFW Post accepted the offer and decided to move the house to the newly purchased property now at 1805 NE Savannah Road, Jensen Beach.
Members dug and poured footings and moved the house south down the street.
Unfortunately, the move was, according to Rhodes “a hodge-podge” effort that ended up with house partially placed on the adjacent property, owned by Bob Coy. The problem was rectified when Coy agreed to swap the land where the house was placed with property at the back of the plot, Rhodes said.
A kitchen was later built on the back of the house. The house was torn down and the large hall, where Bingo is played today, was eventually added. A shed with a tin roof was built on the back of the kitchen and that room eventually was enclosed and serves as the VFW Canteen today.
The office building behind the canteen was a prefabricated building brought onto the property. Rhodes said he and member Don Wagner built the Tiki Hut in about 1992. The large BBQ grill in the Tiki Hut was eventually torn down and a U-shaped bar was built. The Tiki Hut has been host to many special events for veterans, families and friends.