Brooklyn Navy Yard: World War II Tour

Presented in partnership with the 

Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92

Tour Highlights:

  • Monthly on select Sundays at 2pm
  • 2-hour tour by bus with frequent stops to get off and explore
  • See where the battleships Arizona and Missouri were launched
  • Listen to oral histories of the men and women who designed, built, and repaired more than 5,000 ships
  • Learn about connections between the Brooklyn Navy Yard and major events around the world during the war

The Brooklyn Navy Yard played a pivotal role in World War II, building battleships and aircraft carriers, repairing over 5,000 ships, and sending troops and supplies to fronts across the globe. Not only did the Yard construct the USS Arizona a generation before the war, which was sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but it is also where the battleship Missouri was constructed, where the peace treaty ending the war was signed in 1945. Thanks to the efforts of its 70,000 workers, the Brooklyn Navy Yard became the world’s busiest shipyard, earning the nickname “The Can-Do Yard” for its ability to patch up wounded ships and put them back in action.

This tour examines the role of the New York City waterfront in the war effort, explores connections between the Yard and famous battles of World War II, and visits sites of significance that remain from this era, including the former ship assembly shops and the historic Dry Dock 1. Throughout the tour, we listen to clips of oral histories recorded with sailors and shipworkers who were at the Yard during the war, including from women working in industrial jobs, and from people of color, for whom the war presented both challenges and new opportunities. This tour aims to evoke a sense of what the Yard was like during the war – a place of tremendous energy, innovation, and achievement, but tempered by terrible loss. While we use a bus to get you from place to place, we provide opportunities for everyone to get off the bus at several stops for a closer look at historically significant sites.

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