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74th Anniversary of VE Day

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Posted by Nate Goldman on Wednesday, May 8th 2019:

I've seen newsreels of the large celebration in Times Square, which was held exactly 74 years ago, on VE Day. I wish that I could have been there. On this board, someone recently wrote that in the Sheepshead Bay area, cars were continuously honking their horns on VE Day. I suspect that there were other celebrations all over Brooklyn. Brooklyn, NY, during World War Two, had the Brooklyn Army Temrinal port of embarcation, where our brave troops departed by ship for Europe, and also, came back through there, as well as docking at the piers in Manhattan. Also, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, produced many battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers, during the War. My Father told me that he visited the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in 1943, as he used to make deliveries there, for the Navy. He was authorized with a pass to do so. One day, he decided to bring my older brother, who was eight years old at the time. All of a sudden, the SP's (Shore Patrol), stopped his truck and stated "Who is he". My Father told them that it was his son, and he wanted to show him the Navy Yard. After a brief consultation, the SP said "Oh, he is just a kid", and waved them through. Also, my Father also made deliveries to the Coast Guard Station in Manhattan Beach, where he saw Jack Dempsey, the famous boxer, training the Coast Guard in physical calesthenics. Many years later, my Father saw Jack Dempsey in Manhattan, and recounted their earlier meeting at the Coast Guard Station. Jack Dempsey stated, "That goes back a long way". One of my cousins was an air raid civil defense warden, as there were drills, whereby homes had to be blacked out at night. I'm not sure how often that had to be done. Mayor LaGuardia had concerns that NYC might be bombed, and he ordered periodic blackouts. In fact, the Statue of Liberty was even blacked out. The air raid wardens would knock on people's doors, and tell them, in no uncertain terms, to turn off their lights. There were also anti-aircraft guns mounted on the top of the Williamsburg Savings Bank Building (by the observatory), as well as in Manhattan Beach, and Sea Gate. My cousin, Max Auerbach, who fought under General Patton, would often tell me about his war time experiences in Europe, during the war. Unfortunately, although he survived combat, he was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident, ironically, returning from a veteran's reunion, in 1992. I think of him often, and miss hearing about his various combat experiences. Before he moved to New Jersey in 1956, I used to take my bike onto the bike path of Ocean Parkway, and visit him and his family on Shore Road.

Reference ID: BK95775


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