Grande du Missouri
La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux - The Society of the Forty Men and Eight Horses, an independent fraternal organization of veterans, popularly known as the Forty & Eight, was organized in 1920 by American Legionnaires as a fun and honor society.
La Société des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux is an independent, by invitation, honor organization of male and female U. S. veterans, more commonly known as the Forty & Eight. The Forty & Eight is committed to charitable and patriotic aims. Our purpose is to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, to promote the well being of veterans and their widows and orphans, and to actively participate in selected charitable endeavors, which include programs that promote child welfare and nurse's training.
Now composed of veterans of both World Wars and the Korean, Vietnam and Desert Storm conflicts, it draws its origin from World War I when young Americans were sent to France to fight a war to end all wars. The narrow gauge railroads of France had boxcars (Voitures) that carried little more than half the capacity of American boxcars and these voitures were used to transport the men and horses to and from the fighting fronts.
On the side of these little boxcars was stenciled the capacity of each, holding either forty men (hommes) or eight horses (chevaux), and these voitures became the trademark of our organization.
If one could laugh at the train ride from the coast of France to the trenches crowded in these little boxcars only recently vacated by eight horses, one could surely adapt to the changes in his life when he returned home. Originally an arm of The American Legion, the Forty & Eight became an independent and separately incorporated veteran's organization in 1960. Membership in the Forty & Eight is by invitation of honorably discharged veterans and honorably serving members of the United States Armed Forces.