Last week we looked at Operation Magnet, the scramble in the weeks after Pearl Harbor to move American forces into the European battle zone. Just one week after that, it was time to make a move in the Pacific, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal would again be key.
Unlike Europe, America already had significant forces in the Pacific theater, and they were engaged in battle with the Japanese – but it was going very poorly. The Japanese began their invasion of the Philippines just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and within a month, American forces were penned in on the Bataan Peninsula and the island fortress of Corregidor, and the American Asiatic Fleet, along with Dutch and Commonwealth allies, was being battered across the Southwest Pacific. By May, 87,000 American and Filipino troops would be forced to surrender, and half the Asiatic Fleet was sunk.>> Continue reading
On January 15, 1942, ships of convoy AT-10 left the Brooklyn Army Terminal to make the journey across the Atlantic. Aboard the transports USS Chateau Thierry and HMTS Strathaird were mostly soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division, aka “Red Bull,” 4,058 in all. Codenamed Operation Magnet, this was the first deployment of American combat troops to foreign soil after the US officially entered World War II.>> Continue reading
During World War II, nearly half a million Axis prisoners of war were held in the United States. The vast majority of these POWs were German, and a small number (less than 1%) were from Japan, but the remainder were Italian, and they fell into a special category. 34,000 Italian soldiers were allowed to work and live relatively freely at military installations across the country, including at the New York Port of Embarkation, and they provided vital labor and skills to the American war effort. So why were these Italians treated differently than their German and Japanese counterparts?>> Continue reading
Open House New York Weekend is just over a week away, and with over 300 sites throwing open their doors, some careful planning is required to get the most out of it. We have created a brief thematic guide to some of our favorite sites around the city – especially ones along the waterfront – that you can explore Oct. 18–20.>> Continue reading
Join us for this special exploration of two of renowned architect Cass Gilbert’s most impressive works: the Woolworth Building and the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This 3-hour guided experience includes a tour led by the experts at Woolworth Tours of the building’s stunning lobby, with its soaring mosaic ceiling, intricate stained glass, and amusing corbel characters. We will then walk through the heart of the Financial District to Pier 11 to board the NYC Ferry to the Brooklyn Army Terminal to explore a building radically different in appearance, design, and function. This engineering marvel on Brooklyn’s Sunset Park waterfront was built in 1918-1919, serving as a supply base for the American military for nearly 50 years. Today it is home to over 100 companies in industries ranging from precision manufacturers to biotech researchers, online retailers to chocolatiers.
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Woolworth Building, Lower Manhattan
Operation Neptune, the seaborne component of the Normandy invasion, required nearly 6,500 vessels to deliver the vast Allied armies and their supplies and equipment onto the continental beaches. This didn’t just include warships and landing craft, but also more mundane vessels, like barges.
Allied planners scoured the British Isles for craft of any kind to use in the invasion, and they encountered a major shortage of large barges, capable of carrying 1,000 tons or more, and with a draft of less than six feet. Enough simply could not be found or built. Barges of this size were too large to load onto the decks of even the largest transports, and too fragile to tow across the stormy North Atlantic. So in February 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower sent an urgent message to Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall asking for a solution.>> Continue reading
Since Fleet Week returned to New York City after a sequestration-imposed hiatus in 2013, I have watched the annual parade of ships from underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which gives you a good vantage point on the Navy and Coast Guard vessels as they pass through the channel into the Upper Bay. This year, however, I got the opportunity to actually be in the parade thanks to the New York Council of the Navy League.>> Continue reading
On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 3, a fire broke out at 702 44th St, an apartment building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, leaving more than 100 people homeless. The community has rallied to provide assistance to these families, and the local Business Improvement District has set up a GoFundMe campaign for them – please consider donating.
On Saturday, April 6, we are hosting our regular Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour but this week we will be donating 100% of all ticket sales to the fire victims. So please join us – we will put special focus on the Army Terminal’s long history of providing aid and refuge to victims of war and disaster, from the 1928 Puerto Rico Hurricane to the Andrea Doria sinking to the September 11 Boatlift.>> Continue reading
Located on the border of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge, the Brooklyn Army Terminal is nearby to many options for brunch, lunch, or a drink before or after your tour. If you like Mediterranean food, head to Bay Ridge for Lebanese standout Tanoreen or grab take-out from the Family Store. Industry City offers a host of food options seven days a week, including a food hall and Japan Village, or try a craft beverage at Brooklyn Kura Sake or the nearby Five Boroughs Brewing. Sunset Park is second-to-none in New York City for Mexican food along 4th and 5th Avenues, including Tacos El Bronco (which has a restaurant and a food truck), Tacos Matamoros, El Maguey, and Rosa’s Bakery. Or you can head up the hill a few blocks to 8th Avenue, Brooklyn’s Chinatown, where we recommend weekend dim sum at East Harbor or noodle bowls at Yun Nan Flavor Garden. Click the map below for more information. >> Continue reading