The Leland Ted Brandstad VFW Post #6161 was organized in the Winnebago County community of Leland in February 1946 with four charter members. The Veterans of Foreign Wars post was named in honor of William T. (Ted) Brandstad, whose plane went missing during a bombing mission in New Guinea in March 1944. After initial family notification, his father received a letter twenty months later:
Since no information has been received which would support a presumption of your son’s continued survival, the War Department must now terminate his absence by a presumptive finding of death. Accordingly, an official filing of death has been recorded… However, no further report regarding your son, his crew members, or their plane has been received.
Ted was awarded an Air Medal, for Meritorious Achievements in bombing missions against enemy installations; the decoration was presented to his father. The VFW was formed shortly after his confirmed death. A VFW Auxiliary Post was organized twenty-one years later.