Korean War Veterans Association
Korean War & Korea Defense Veterans: A Continuity of Service in the Defense of Freedom
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Our Founding

The Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) is a federally-tax exempt organization that was incorporated in the State of New York on June 25, 1985, at the principal address: 302 Middletown Road, Waterford (Saratoga County), New York. The KWVA is registered under the identification number "EPTL No. 03-78-18" in the Office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271. Its original founder was Mr. William T. Norris of New York, a member of F Company, 27th Infantry Regiment (Wolfhounds), 25th Infantry Division, when he served as a sergeant in the Korean War.

According to the incorporation papers, the corporation was formed for seven purposes. They included:

  • To organize, promote and maintain for benevolent and charitable purposes an association of persons who have seen honorable service during the Korean War at any time between June 25, 1950 and 31 January 1955, both dates inclusive, and of certain other persons, the particular qualifications for membership to be set forth in the By-laws of the Korean War Veterans Association.
  • To grant charters to groups of members at large of the Association.
  • To provide a means of contact and communication among the members of the Association.
  • To promote the establishment of, and to establish war and other memorials commemorative of any person or persons who served in the Korean War.
  • To aid needy Association members and their wives and children, and the widows and children of persons who were members at the time of their death.
  • To establish and maintain a national headquarters.
  • To do any and all things necessary or proper for the accomplishment of the foregoing business and objects of the Association, including, for such purposes, to contract and pay for personal and other services, to contract for, buy, take by deed, gift or devise, hold, possess, manage, borrow, rent, lease, loan, assign, convey, sell, and dispose of in any manner real and personal property, and to act as trustee, or be a beneficiary of a trust.

The original number of trustees in the first year of the Korean War Veterans Association’s existence was nine. The founding officers listed on the "Registration of Charitable Trust or Charitable Corporation" papers were: William T. Norris, President; Mario Scarcelletta, 1st Vice President; Arthur Patterson, 2nd Vice President; William Coe, Director; John Herbert, Treasurer; Kenneth Dame, Director; and Arthur L. DeVoe Jr., Director. The first issue of Graybeards (January, 1986), edited by William T. Norris, also said that Ira J. Singer and Edward Hoth were directors for 1985, along with Dame. Directors for 1986 were Robert F. Marchillo, DeVoe, and Stanley E. Hadden. Directors for 1987 were Coe, Dale W. Riggs, and Joseph A. Ricker. The historians were William Kingston, Jr. and Victor Gerst, Jr.

A history of the forming of the Korean War Veterans Association was written by its founder, William T. Norris. The history can be found on pages 26 and 27 of the March/April 2003 Graybeards (official magazine of the KWVA). On July 26, 1985, about 56 men met in Arlington to discuss forming the KWVA. They left the hotel in Arlington to attend a ceremony to recognize the first issue of the United States Post Office’s new Korean War veterans stamp. When they returned to the hotel, 40 of the veterans held a second meeting at 2 p.m. to actually enroll and pay membership dues as the founding members of the KWVA. The roster of the original 40 founding members is listed here to honor them. As a point of clarification, readers should be aware of the fact that 39 members have often been listed as the founding members of the KWVA. However, a fortieth founding member came in a little late at the 2 p.m. meeting (Ralph E. Butler) on July 26, 1985, and he paid his membership dues at that time.

  • William T. Norris, Founder
  • Dale W. Riggs
  • William Booker
  • Joseph J. Perc
  • William F. Mason Jr.
  • Robert A. McWatter
  • Vincent A. Estella
  • Arthur T. Patterson
  • Donald E. Nelson
  • Gabe Lamagna
  • Allen M. Smith
  • LeRoy M. Stucker
  • Richard Winterstein
  • John A. Herbert
  • Daniel Lucey Jr.
  • Edward Hoth
  • Kenneth Borchardt
  • Ralph W. Melcher
  • William McCavitt
  • C.J. Rittenhouse
  • Thomas C. Harris Jr.
  • Wes Worsham
  • Harry Wallace
  • Herman Voellings
  • Charles Ritenour
  • Richard Ziemba
  • Ralph Lugo
  • Stanley Hadden
  • Herbert Parnow
  • Charles Soules
  • Jack Cloman
  • Mario Scarselletta Jr.
  • Howard M. Steele Jr.
  • Victor Gerst
  • Robert O’Hara
  • Joseph Browne
  • Joseph P. McCallion
  • Herbert Watson
  • Milton H. Olazagasti
  • Ralph E. Butler

The current Registered Agent for the KWVA is: C.T. Corporation System, 111 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York 10011.