In 1933, Bill St. John was director of the drum and bugle corps sponsored by the Moe Wolff Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Manhattan. One of his astute business moves was recruiting local young man Rudy Caprifolio, also a Hall of Fame member, because of his fund raising skills. Caprifolio eventually became his assistant director. Under their direction, the corps ended its association with the VFW and operated independently as the Manhattanville Boys Club, with club rooms that boy and girl members of the corps could use at their convenience. The corps was performing at the Polo Grounds at a football game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn (football) Dodgers on December 7, 1941, when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor. St. John, a World War I veteran who served with the Irish 69th Rainbow Division, enlisted in the United States Air Force. He passed away just a few months after returning home at the end of World War II, but was instrumental in helping form the senior corps that came to be known as the New York Skyliners.