Michigan post named for WWI Medal of Honor recipient

Published: 1 February 2024

By David H. Dinger, M.D., Post 341 adjutant/historian
via the Legiontown U.S.A. website

Harold A Furlong framed

Harold A. Furlong

American Legion Post 341 – West Bloomfield, MI

Harold A. Furlong was born in Pontiac, Mich., on Aug. 1, 1895. After graduating from Saginaw High School in 1914 he enrolled in Michigan Agricultural College, which in later years became Michigan State University. He interrupted his college education to join the Army on May 10, 1917, in Detroit.

Harold attended officer training at Fort Sheridan, Ill., and was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry on Aug. 15, 1917. He was assigned to Company M, 353rd Infantry Regiment, 89th Division at Fort Riley, Kan. On June 4, 1918, his division was sent to France.

1st Lt. Furlong was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Jan. 7, 1919, for his heroic action on Nov. 1, 1918, near Bantheville, France. On Feb. 9, 1919, upon the recommendation of Gen. John J. Pershing, his Distinguished Service Cross was elevated to the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pershing personally pinned the medal on Harold’s uniform at his headquarters at Chaumont, France.

After the war, Harold returned to Michigan and entered the University of Michigan, where he completed his undergraduate degree. He then attended the medical school, graduated with the class of 1924 and then entered a residency in OB/GYN. He and his wife, Frances, made their home in Pontiac where Harold practiced OB/GYN.

He served in the Michigan Army National Guard from Dec. 16, 1921, until he was reactivated on Dec. 26, 1940, for service as colonel in the Army Medical Corps. Harold served as a corps surgeon administrative officer for more than five years, which included nearly 14 months in the European theater during WWII.

Three former medical colleagues of Dr. Furlong – and veterans in their own right – Bruce T. Lessien, M.D., Billy B. Baumann, M.D. and myself – led the effort in 2007 to name their new American Legion Post 339 after Harold. The post, located in Bloomfield Township, merged in 2021 with its sister Post 341 of Sylvan Lake.

The resulting new entity is Harold A. Furlong American Legion Post 341. We now serve the communities of Sylvan Lake, Bloomfield Hills, Pontiac, Orchard Lake and Keego Harbor, and the townships of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield.

Read the entire article on the Legiontown U.S.A. web site.
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