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Raymond Gafney helped men find their roles in the war, then found a club for life

From the Stories from Frederick County's World War II veterans series
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Raymond F. Gafney is shown during the most recent meeting of the Last Man’s Club at the FSK American Legion Post 11 in Frederick. The final surviving member of the group that began with 41 men will receive a bottle of champagne that the group purchased in 1955.

Raymond Gafney was drafted into service and completed basic training at Camp Campbell in Kentucky.

During the war, he served with the 2nd Army, which trained almost a million men for all theaters of the war. Gafney said his main work was coordinating transportation.

“We just made sure that they got to where they were supposed to go,” Gafney said.

Gafney himself trained to drive tanks and other military equipment at Camp Campbell, but ultimately remained stateside for the duration of his enlistment. He aimed to go to flight school, but that ended with the end of the war.

Once Gafney’s draft order expired, he went on to work for the Atomic Energy Commission.

His wartime service has never been far from his mind. Gafney has been active in Frederick organizations including the FSK American Legion Post 11.

Gafney and George B. Delaplaine Jr. are the final two remaining members of the post’s “Last Man’s Club,” a once 41-member-strong group of World War II veterans who have reunited for a meal every year. The final member will inherit a bottle of champagne the group bought in 1955.

— Danielle E. Gaines

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

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