The Bellingham Falcons were Washington State American Legion (Albert J. Hamilton Post #7)
Champions in 1926, 1933 & 1934, 1939 & 1940, 1944, and 1946.
Please see “Drum Corps of The American Legion” under “Governing Bodies” or under “Pre-1960 Corps” pages for more details.
August 1962 American Legion Parade in Bellingham Washington.
Drum Major George Provias & the “Flying Falcons” of AL Post #7 in Bellingham
George would go on to manage the Bellingham Matadors in 1964 and 1965
Thunderbirds, Hurricanes Washington Legion Champs
By John Broderick & Lea I. Langabeer
DCN Sept. 12, 1962
BELLINGHAM, Wash., Aug. 10 – Upsets in both the junior and senior divisions marked the annual American Legion Convention competition held here tonight. In the junior division, the Seattle Thunderbirds upset the perennial champion Pasco Columbians, 88.05 to 87.34.
The University Hurricanes of Seattle captured the senior show.
The women’s drill team competition was won by the 11th District Auxiliary, with the Wenatchee Auxiliary second.
The show was the first held at the new Bellingham Civic Stadium.
Ron Stockton of the Blue Knights was the best Drum Major of the Seniors and Jerry Logan of the Thunderbirds for the Juniors.
In the parade in the afternoon, Wenatchee won first place and the Pasco Columbians won the junior trophy.
The University Hurricanes won several honors in additional to the corps championship. They received the Color Squad trophy, Bass bugle, Majorette, Bugle Ensemble, and much applause from the crowd.
Jack Stockton of the Blue Knights was best bass drummer, and Earl Bishop won the best soprano bugler trophy.
First on were the juniors. The first corps off the line was the Columbians from Pasco, Washington. Last years champions, they did their usual fine job. They were well disciplined with good horns and drums and good M&M. This corps was the smallest on the field and didn’t have the horn power that some of the others showed. The Columbians had never lost the State Championship until this year.
Next corps off the line was the Shamrocks of Seattle, Washington. This corps has come a long way in the last 3 months. There was improvement in every category, however their M&M was off, 3 full points below the winner. A better repertoire will help this corps next year. The two girl drum majors looked very good (flip wrist also).
Third corps off the line was the Thunderbirds. This was definitely the best show they have done so far this year. “Angels Sing” is their best number. Not bad for a first year corps. In one corps has entered all competition, bought a bus, new uniforms and equipment. Their manager is a real promoter. This corps shows promise of being “Big Time” next year.
Next came the Hurricanes from Seattle: Many thought this corps would not be a contender but they surprised everyone by taking first place and the title of American Legion Senior State Champion. They received big applause before stepping off the starting line. “Battle Hymn” and concert of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby” received standing ovation. Concert solos by Jack Avery and Gary Bryan were really on that night. It was apparent the audience was for them.
The Everett Blue Knights seemed to be the corps to beat. They came off the line strong, played their numbers well and marched well. The audience doesn’t go for their concert of “Grandfather’s Clock”. They should realize this and if they listen to a recording of the competition they would notice the lack of audience reaction. Tenor drum line was not together they worked hard this year and it showed.
Last corps off was the Bellingham Falcons. Drums and Bugles not up to par with other corps. Their numbers are outdated. Years back this corps was unbeatable and once placed in a national American Legion Convention.
This report would not be complete if there was no mention of the MC. The announcing was pathetic. First of all a junior corps was awarded 1st place. The major accepted the trophy and took it back to his corps. Ten minutes later he had to return it to the judges stand to be presented to another corps. Then the senior awards were given. First place was given to a corps and when the drum major was half way up to accept, a mistake was announced and first place was given to another corps.
The Junior Scores:
Thunderbirds, Seattle …………………. 88.05
Columbians, Pasco ……………………. 87.34
Shamrocks, Seattle ……………………. 74.27
The Senior Scores:
University Hurricanes, Seattle ………. 85.01
Blue Knights, Everett …………………. 82.03
Pippins, Wenachee ……………………. 78.98
Falcons, Bellingham …………………… 78.68
December 4, 1963 Drum Corps News