Satan's Laundromat: Comments

Comments on Fort Wadsworth.

wow. I used to live just a few blocks away from the fort and always wanted to get in there. is the it open to the public now?

Posted by 990000 at September 7, 2003 11:56 AM

the fort pics look great!

Posted by adam at September 8, 2003 11:11 AM

The fort is open to the public now. The NAtional PArk Department took it over they have tours wed-sat. Check it out, its neat.

Posted by Vlad at November 2, 2003 02:02 AM

A cold war veteran, I was a signal corpsman stationed with the US Army at Ft. Wadsworth in 1956. My MOS was Cryptographer but I was assigned as an EE8 field telephone repairman. I worked in one of the "dungeon" type rooms down in the fortress. It was gloomy, but the view above ground was spectacular. There was no Verizanno bridge then. I loved Ft. Wadsworth. I hated to leave but my new assignment was Paris France -- not too shabby!!

Posted by Pete Keller at November 21, 2003 09:40 PM

used to live there too. any of you live there during the seventies and eighties?

Posted by lila at December 26, 2003 12:02 AM

i've lived in rosebank/ wadswroth more then half of my 22 years

as kids we used to go down to the fort by cutting through the park right before the entrance to ft wadsworth...we went when it was covered with graffiti and satanic signs...we found a perfectly skinned cat and a headless dog among other things.we also found a noose hangin from the ceiling in one of the rooms.what got me was how during the day it could still be pitch black inside. we toured the entire thing it was fun . i want to go back soon..i'll take pictures and post them to a url.

Posted by jason d at February 16, 2004 12:18 PM

I lived there from '73 -'78 - explored every fort, battery, and pill box there was. Great place to live.

Posted by Mike at April 1, 2004 09:48 AM

These photos bring back memories. I was stationed at Fort Wadsworth for 20 months; part of 1967-68. I was a Personnel Clerk for the HQ Det USAG (1275). A great place to be stationed in the midst of the Viet Nam conflict. A matter of fact; your third photo shows a stairway leading to an open door on the second floor. I walked up those stairs everyday and worked in that same room behind that open door. It was a very interesting place to work, although when it rained the ceiling did leak. Battery Weed looks much more maintained now. When I was stationed there, it was not accessible.
I was in the area in 1992, but could not enter the gate because it was controlled by the Navy. Hopefully, I be able to see it in the near future.
Dave Pfefferkorn, Wisconsin

Posted by Dave at April 5, 2004 03:05 PM

What battery are those pics. from and is the area they were taken in abandoned, likes does it have an 'area closed' sign, because I have been most of the abandoned parts, but never saw the above area.

Posted by Joseph at April 16, 2004 06:12 PM

They are from inside the upper fort. It is normally locked up except when the park service gives free tours. We happened to come just in time for one.

Posted by Mike at April 16, 2004 10:37 PM

My dad was Protestant chaplain at Ft Wadsworth around 1944-45. I was a little kid and have some memories ....our houseboy was an Italian POW,Franco Stucci; I looked over the harbor to see the Queen Mary and Elizabeth returning with the soldiers and the show of patriotism at the end of WW2; I think I found the burial site of Gen. Wadsworth's horse. I went to first grade at PS 39? and told the teacher Mrs. Lipshitz that I wasn't allowed to say her name(called her Mrs. Lipstick instead). Kissed Cardinal Spellman's ring after saying I was Catholic so that I could join the other kids on a fieldtrip to the local RC church. Set up a stand where I "sold" the news that the war was over for 5cents a tell. Good memories!

Posted by Donna at May 4, 2004 11:19 AM

My husband was stationed on Fort Wadsworth in the early 90's...We lived on base in Naval Housing...It was an incredible experience and a wonderful place to live...I was wondering what has been done to the base...What have they done with the housing (apartments)...Thanks!

Posted by Stacey at May 20, 2004 10:18 PM

The fort situated atop the embankment overlooking the Narrows was called the Quadrangle when I worked there in the late sixties. It was used as a transfer station where most personnel coming in from Europe and Viet Nam assignments would be discharged from the Army. The Quadrangle, historically, is called Fort Tompkins within the boundaries of Ft. Wadsworth. The structure below the Bridge, along the shore of the Narrows is Battery Weed. That was inaccessible when I was stationed there. All in all, a very scenic and historic placed to be stationed.

Posted by Dave at June 7, 2004 02:52 PM

i stayed at the naval lodge last month, and just happened to go by the visitor center on 'tour' day! what an incredible experience!

you've captured it well...and i just wanted to give you a link to my site on in case you're a digital camera junkie like myself...and want to share your photos with a whole community of photo junkies!!!

also...the title of your website made me a tad leary...but...very appropriate. look forward to meeting you online!!!

Posted by Cheryl at June 13, 2004 10:14 AM

I lived on Ft. Wadsworth back in 67-68 while my father was stationed there. Me and my brothers had a blast exploring the old bunkers, batteries, etc. I haven't been back since we left in 68, hopefully in the near future I can check out the National Park.

Posted by Doug at July 14, 2004 03:03 PM

I was stationed at Ft Wadsworth from June 67 to Sept 68 and was assigned to the FABULOUS FIRST ARMY NEW YORK BAND..CAMMANDING OFFICE CWO ARTHUR W SHETTLE. We played all the major events in the City and it was a truly great to be there. . Later the band moved to Fort Hamilton..where it is today. I recall being on duty at the museum one Sunday afternoon and someone stole the MEDAL OF HONOR OFF THE WALL. I could not be everywhre at once so Col De Maria, the officer that ran Wadsworth, did not blame me for the incident.

Posted by Lynn Claughton at July 27, 2004 01:27 AM

I am looking for some old buddies from the eighties. We all lived on Mont Sec Avenue. Does anyone know where Eric Montieth, Rhett Burleson, Greg Smith, Daniel Mayo and a great guy named Lurch is? Does anyone know them?

Posted by lila at August 25, 2004 09:07 PM

hello, I am currently assigned with the coast guard on fort wadsworth, and along with some friends, have "explored" some of the overgrown fortresess of the fort. We were wondering if anybody had any pictures or stories from the time period they were being used.

Posted by jon chapin at September 12, 2004 07:06 PM

I lived on Camp Rd, Ft Wadsworth, from 1972-1975, went to JHS49 & New Dorp HS....and explored every nook and cranny, pill box, building and tunnel I could find. New York I didn't much like, but I would love to see Ft Wadsworth again!

Posted by julie at September 23, 2004 01:01 AM

This is where they held Chaplains assistant school in 1975. I was there. Acutally, our barracks was at Ft Wadsworth. This looks like the old fort we took our schooling in though. Bring s back tons of memories. The men stayed on Staten Island and the girls were stationed on the other side of the island. I can not think were their barracks were. It is neat to look at those old cannon holes again. When i was there, they still had a couple of old cannons still sitting there.

Posted by steve at October 4, 2004 02:32 AM

I was stationed at hamilton in the mp corp in 84 and we used wadsworth for training and testing. Seeing it all cleaned up is cool.

Posted by Mike Abair at October 31, 2004 10:21 AM

Hey. I was stationed at Ft Wadsworth from 2/74 - 8/74 after returning from the DMZ in Korea. An 11B10, they changed my MOS and stuck me at Wadsworth as a fueling person. I fueled MP and other base vehicles and helped man the motorpool with a great guy named Sgt.Torres.

The for was called Fort Richmond in 1840's when it was built. It was originally built to protect the NY harbor from any possible attacks from the British. They used mules, horses and slave labor to lay the giant granit blocks that make up the Quadrangle.

Once during my saty there, Archeologists dug up and sent divers into the underground granite water channels under the Quads interior. They were looking for artifacts etc. Aparently, the latrine was just a floor that stopped 2-3 feet from the wall on the Quads first floor (south end). The soldiers would pee over the edge of the floor and the tide would rise and rinse the system out each tide change. They actually found stuff down ther.

I also explored the Artillery Batteries that line the shore. Yes, some are connected to protect and conceal the troops as they moved about.

Down below the Quad, there was a train track with small train cars used to haul cannon balls and a store house to keep them in.

One cool rumour, I found a door leading down to a stair case of granite in the S/E corner of the Quadrangle. We went part way down and saw another door that was supposed to lead to a tunnel. The rumour was that this tunnel lead across to Ft Hamilton and that when they built the Verrazano Bridge the tunnerl was flooded and destroyed.

They also found a small deck cannon from the stern of a sailing ship when building the Verrazano. Thus was in the museum inside the Quad.

I used a metal detector a few times and found Army Uniform buttons on the grounds. Many items that people found ended up in the museum which was really awesome. Photos of soldiers in formation during or before WW I are still on site.

Also, the old brick buildings to the north toward the SI ferry end of the fort, were used over 100 ears ago and are still in use today.

They have a jail down under ground where prisoners were held temporarily. It is roughly under the VZ and on the path next to the maintenance road. It is very hard to find but it's cool. Has a 3-4" thick oak door with monstrous hinges and hardware. (The same style doors as found on the jail at Fort McHenry in MD).

I had alot of time in the afternoons while there. I put in alot of time patrolling and hiking in and through all of the bunkers etc.with my dog. (Yep, I did this on Army time got paid for it!!)

Hey, the place is so old that there are actually es and stalagmites all over the place under ground.

If you can, go check this place out. Please don't
destroy anything though.

Alan C. Andoos
United Nations Honour Guard
8th Army
Seoul Korea 1973

Posted by Alan C. Andoos at November 4, 2004 08:45 PM

Alan , that sounds so cool. I think i found the answer to where that door led you where talking about, from reading your post. Always wondered bout that. Except they had it chained up when i was looking all around the area. I did not have much time to explore. Between going to chaplain's asst school in the old fort, see pic above- the one with the stairs and old ironwork and trying date some the wacks from Ft Hamilton.LOL i didnt have much time. I think it was Ft Hamilton they housed the female chaplain assistants. I know i had to take the bus to get to Brooklyn to visit them. Anyway real interesting stuff you wrote about.

Posted by Steve at November 15, 2004 12:05 AM

Here is another site for and about Staten Islanders:


I have already told them about this site!

Posted by oldnacl at November 18, 2004 06:53 PM

My dad was the foreman plumber on Fort Wadsworth until 1953.Seeing those pictures brought back a lot of memories. Unfortunately, the post changed once the bridge went in. Growing up during WWII for me was a lot of fun, except for the fact that my dad kept a tight rein on my going off post during that time.

Posted by Joan at November 22, 2004 11:41 AM

Amazing stuff! I was stationed as a Military Policeman at Fort Hamilton during 1975--I always requested daily assignments over the Verazano at Ft. Wadsworth. Graveyard shift was exploration time--I always got great pointers from the officers' brats on totally spooky secret passage ways, etc. The smell of the innermost recesses was ancient. I was a dumb 18 year old kid packing a 45 in my dress uniform crushed with homesickness for my native southern Arizona--the lights of the bridge through the mist with the distant foghorns still haunt me. Perhaps summer of '05 I'll return.

Posted by mark royce at December 4, 2004 04:59 AM


My family was stationed in Ft. Wadsworth in 76 and 77. We were there for that incredibly cold snowy winter and the big black out of the city. I was sitting with friends on the little road that runs under the VZ Bridge along the hills overlooking the Weed Battery. We watched as the city went black in big huge grids. Then we looked at each other and realized this was something major!

My Dad, Capt. Vernon Friday, taught at the Chaplain school. We lived in the duplex barracks that were on the tiered land leading down to the beach. I remember watching the school bus sliding right past our bus stop all the way down to the beach, hehe. From that point on, we had to hike up to the top tier to wait for the bus. At the time, I was in fifth grade at P.S. 39.

I recall that we pretty much had free run of the base. There was a hole in the fence down near the beach where the local kids would sneak onto the base and hang out with us. We spent a lot of time in and around all the bunkers. Our backyard sat at the base of one of the gunnery bunkers. I remember seeing the big toothed tracks where the guns had sat overlooking the bay. Telling a ten year old not to go into such cool looking bunkers was an exercise in futility. We eventually got busted by the MP's while playing in the Weed Battery. The little lookout pill box type bunkers were fantastic forts for kids to play in!

When it was snowing, we went to the baseball field by the little old library. Some of the GI's brought out large trays. The hill from the library down to the baseball field was smoothly graded. We piled onto those trays with the GI's and started sliding on the snow! Hitting the transition point from the hill to the flat field was rough as it was not a gradual transition, but rather abrupt. Bodies went flying everywhere! We hiked backup and did it again and again! The GI's were playing with us like they were little kids themselves. It was great.

There were a few weeks during the winter were it stayed right around Zero the whole time. It was too cold to even go out and play. The snow drifts were up to the bottom of the high windows on our duplex. The janitors for our schools went on strike and we missed several days of school because there was not heat without them to run the furnaces in the old schools.

That was a special year in my childhood. The base was a dream land for kids to play on, hehe. We had beaches, woods, the bunkers...


Posted by Scott Friday at December 23, 2004 04:36 PM

Hello Everyone!
It's very interesting reading all the stories of Fort Wads. I'm was especially interested in the story from Lynn Claughton who was a band member stationed at Ft. Wads around the same time I was stationed there. I was billetted in the same building, but on the other side, beyond the doors. We never comingled with the band members, except in the mess hall. I do remember though, when several band members lost their lives, in a firey crash as they were traveling to a performance.

Lynn, you brought back memories of Col. DeMaria; an onery old cuss. My buddy was dating his daughter. I thought he was crazy. I believe we had a parade for him when he retired.

We marched, probably with your band, in Manhattan on several occasions.


Posted by Dave Pfefferkorn at January 7, 2005 09:47 AM

Greetings All,

Great pix. Researching my dad's Army history and found he was at Ft. Wadsworth in 1947. Not sure what he did but his 201 file says he was assigned to the 1205th ASU and then to the 1261 ASU on Staten Island (I think?). thanks for posting the reat pix. btw, anyone know what a 1205 ASU is???

Posted by A G Conlon at January 29, 2005 10:56 PM

WOW! My father was stationed at Ft Wadsworth from 87-92. My friends and I use to go exploring all over the fort. Its amazing reading about every ones experiences. That place has so much history. Look me up if you one of my exlporing buddies.

Posted by Raul at March 31, 2005 11:42 PM

I used to have crazy plans to run away to Fort Wadsworth.

Posted by Chloe at April 16, 2005 10:13 PM

I was stationed with the 999 Signal Company (Support)at Ft Wadsworth in 1956. Saw the Stockholm come up through the narrows after hitting and sinking the Andria Dorra. Looks like I need to take a trip back to the Fort.

Jack Kelly
Natick, Ma.

Posted by Jack Kelly at April 26, 2005 08:45 PM

I lived on Ft. Wadsworth back in 78-79 while my father was stationed there. My friends and I had a blast exploring the old bunkers, batteries, etc. We all attended Curtis High. I remember Paul Ragusa, the band teacher. My friends were Lee Mallard, Tim Mallard, Todd, Caroline and Lisa Kramer, Guiia Jolin, Michelle Parker, Burt, Stitch, Pete Savely and Asiah Hudson (a soul I'll never forget). I wish I could find all of these folks again. Tom Hines. THines01 at Yahoo dot Com

Posted by Tom Hines at April 26, 2005 11:39 PM

I was asssigned to the 26th Army Band on Fort Wadsworth from 1975 to 1978. The band offices and barracks were in the old hospital. Although I didn't live in the barracks, the prized barracks room had once been the hospital morg.
I lived the first two years I was there on Fort Hamilton and then on Camp Road on Fort Wadsworth. It was a great place to live and I hope to revisit it some day.

Posted by Mike at April 29, 2005 02:42 PM

I was stationed on Staten Island from late 1956 till the fall of 1957 before going overseas. We
were in a AAA Gun Bn. on the opposite side of the Island near the Goethels Bridge. I visited Ft. Wadsworth many times for shots and medical appointents. This of course, was long before the bridge went in.

Posted by James Larry Jertson at May 5, 2005 11:46 AM

Enjoyed your photos of Fort Wadsworth and Battery Weed. My father was post commander of Ft Wadsworth in 1970-71 and gave me a tour of the fort and the battery while on leave from the Army. there used to be some huge guns from the coastal battery lying near the fort, Parrot guns I think. People were constantly bothering him about buying them, so he had them buried. I believe it was in the shallow moat that used to surround the fort. Wonder if the park service would like some guns?

Posted by Charles Wood at May 8, 2005 09:41 AM

Lived at Ft. Wadsworth in 70-71, hung out with John Rideout, Garry Lewry, Sue Andrews and Chip Simmons, all but Chip have stayed in touch to this day, we were 14-17 back then, and in our late 40's and early 50's now, but the memories are like yesterday, we had an underground fort that we kept to ourselves, had it stocked with food and visited quad many times through our secret entrance (will not tell). If anyone out there knew Chip Simmons and where he is today, we are all looking for him, all of us are scattered from Vir, to NC to Tx to NM, my email is contact me, I went to New Dorp for my 10th year and part of my 11th 70-71, get place for a kid to live, later

Posted by mark williams at May 16, 2005 07:38 AM

Visited the fort today, a beautiful day with a great view of the city and the harbor, explored Battery Caitlin until Coasties asked us to leave,a great place and view

Posted by smitty at May 19, 2005 09:45 PM

I was in the 26th / 1st US Army Band from 1965 to 1967 with Lynn Claughton. I was on the turnpike when the firey crash happened. There were two great people whose lives were lost that day. I would welcome anyone who wants to talk about that great place to write me. I had some great times in that band and in the Army in general.

Steve Lewis

Posted by Steve Lewis at May 29, 2005 08:42 PM

Went to see the Fort for my project on Sunday, but it was extremely hot and I couldn't wait for the tour. I will go back one day soon and explore, get some pictures if I can. Sounds like everybody has great memories of the place

Posted by Rokas at June 7, 2005 07:28 PM

This message is to Messrs. Lewis, Claughton and Pfefferkorn, all of whom were at Ft. Wadsworth in the 1967-68 period. I was interested in your comments. I ran the Army Museum there in 1967. I remember well the two bandsmen who died on the NJ Turnpike. Their last names were Abbess and Armstrong. I married Colonel Demaria's daughter, by the way...the older of the two, Susan. Her dad was ornery but not crazy, I assure you (though I can understand how some younger soldiers might have thought that). He was a classic "hard charger." He retired from the Army as a full colonel in 1970 and passed away in 1998. A veteran of WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam, he is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. I enjoyed reading your comments. Best wishes to you.

Jack Lichtenstein

Posted by Jack Lichtenstein at June 9, 2005 11:50 PM

Dear Mr. Lichenstein,
Sorry to hear about the passing of Col. Demaria. Yes, as I remember he was a hardnose officer, but then the army needed people like him to run smoothly. As a young soldier, officers like him made life in the army more difficult, but that was expected. Life in the service is not always a cakewalk. It's funny, that the persons I remember 35 years later are the ones that were your close buddies, and the people who lead and stood out personality wise. Colonel Demaria did that. I did not know the background of the colonel. I pay homage his service to our country, and being a part of my early life.

I remember the museum in the quad. I will always remember working in that historic building. What a priviledge I had working and living there at Fort Wadsworth.

Dave P.

Posted by Dave P. at June 13, 2005 11:36 AM

Dear Dave:

Good to hear back from you. Thanks for your kind comments on my late father-in-law.

COL Demaria was tough, but he was fair. He had only an 8th grade formal education, succeeding in the Army pretty much on raw ability. His lack of a formal education may have accounted for his appreciation of the common soldier. He expected soldiers to maintain high standards, but he was very fond of them and disappointed when they failed. I can assure you, he was much tougher on officers and senior NCOs.

I remember well one incident. There was a shortage of mattresses for the enlisted soldiers on post. On one of his never-ending inspections, COL Demaria found that a platoon sergeant had a stack of new mattresses in his office on which he was bedding his dogs. The Colonel was furious and the platoon sergeant's career was effectively over.

COL Demaria considered the well-being of Fort Wadsworth and the soldiers there his personal responsibility.

Along with others who pulled occasional duty at the Museum, there were two EM who worked with me there quite a bit in 1967...Lynn Caraway (not to be confused with Lynn Claughton who posted here) and Joe Isbell. Did you know them?

It's a pleasure to be able to recall some of these things courtesy of your messages.

Best wishes.

Posted by Jack Lichtenstein at June 13, 2005 01:54 PM

Dear Jack L.:
What's an EM? The name of Joe Isbell's sounds familiar. It's hard to recall names from 38 years ago, if you didn't work with them. Were they both Army personnel?

I read my old email about Col Demaria. Forgive me, if you felt that I called the Colonel crazy. I meant to say that my buddy was crazy dating his daughter. There's a lot of pressure dating, it must have been doubly pressureful dating the Colonel's daughter.

Dave Pfefferkorn

Posted by Dave P. at June 14, 2005 04:21 PM


"EM" stands for Enlisted Men. Both Lynn Caraway and Joe Isbell were Army Enlisted Men. They were good soldiers. I know what you meant about the Colonel, and don't think a thing of it. We all were a little intimidated by him. It was not always easy being his son-in-law, either, but I would do it all over again.


Posted by Jack Lichtenstein at June 15, 2005 08:32 PM

I copied the link to that I saw entered here. Nice site.

Posted by Paula Priscotto at June 15, 2005 08:54 PM

Hi I worked on the base for NAVRESSO was a wonderful place to work. They have since moved to Virginia I went to visit nothing like Fort Wadsworth beautiful place

Posted by grace falzone at June 30, 2005 11:49 AM

Great pictures! I was born and raised in the neighborhood. My brother had a paper route that included the fort and I would help him on Sundays. Maybe someone can help me locate 2 people. Their names are Thomas and Cheryl Sullivan. They graduated St. Mary's with me in 1970, but then went to New Dorp H.S. I visited their home in the fort on several occasions. Cheryl had beautiful red hair. Does anyone remember them? I think they moved there around 1968 or 69. I also remember the bowling alley, movie theater, pool and the picnic ground at the bottom of the hill near the water. The fort used to be open to the public once a year (maybe Armed Forces Day?). My parents would take us to see the equipment on display and the marches on the parade field. Ft. Wadsworth has always been a beautiful place.

Sue Taylor

Posted by Sue T at June 30, 2005 01:54 PM

I was delighted to find this site. My dad was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth during the period 1954-1955. He was M/Sgt Everett Weller. He was wire chief at the post telephone exchange, located at the present site of the visitor's center. I visited the post on 6/26/05. I recognized part of the post, but much of what I remember as a youngster (born in 1948) was wiped away by the bridge. We lived in two places on post: T36B in the converted barracks, then 38A just up the hill from the visitor's center. I remember my dad marching in parades on the old parade ground just inside the Bay St gate on the right. The commissary was inside the old upper walled fort. I would really like to see a map of the post as it existed in the mid 50s. Anybody out there know where I can find one?

Posted by Steve Weller at June 30, 2005 09:19 PM

I remember living in a hugh house by the back gate called the King House. It was scheduled to be demolished, and we moved to the new nco quarters. I have been unable to locate any pictures or even any listing for the house. It was big enough for 6 families. The teen club was right across the street. The upper fort was the commissary at that time. It was before JFK was elected president, so I'm guessing that it was the late 50's. Ground was broken for the new bridge (Verazano Narrows). We left before it was completed. Does anyone remember the old house. I loved living in it. And would like to know some of it's history.

Posted by Patricia Roura at July 23, 2005 05:19 AM

I was with the 242nd Military Intelligence Battalion stationed on Ft. Wadsworth in the early 90s. We never did get called up to go to the Gulf, but I think the guys below us did. (They were the 24th MI Battalion.) I guess I can't say "stationed" since it was a Reserve unit, but I remember going there every month for drill! I was the Mobilization officer since I was also a cadet in ROTC at the time (St. John's University). Good memories! Loved the pics, and din't know the Fort was that young (1840s). Someone in my unit told me it was built by the Dutch in the 1600s at the same time as Ft. Hamilton to defend New Amsterdam harbor. Thanks for the correct info!

Posted by Jay at August 3, 2005 06:58 PM

My Dad was stationed at Ft. Jay located on Governors Island 1964 - 66 went to Curtis H.S. and played football against Mike Siani (New Dorp great that went on to play for the Raiders), my buddies and I would visit Wadsworth and Hamilton and wonder through all the neat sites. I was just in NY this past weekend and spent some time on Governors Island and Ft. Wadsworth, brought back a lot of memories. Glad to see that they are saving these great sites.

Posted by Mike West at August 9, 2005 02:50 PM

From 1922 to 1924 my father was a medical officer at Ft.Wadsworth, the site of my earliest memories. We lived in a two-story wooden house with an enclosed porch, part of a row of similar houses which sloped up toward a hill overlooking the water. At that end of the street on the opposite side was the bachelors' quarters and a tennis court where I remember watching my father play. There was also a field where dandelions florished in early spring and we went picking so my grandmother could make dandelion wine. A big treat was to go via ferry and subway to a zoo on the mainland. I remember using a sled on the incline between two houses. I thought it was a steep hill until I visited the post after WW 2 and realized how one's perceptions change as one grows. The one personality I recall from those long-ago days was the post tailor, a foreigner, who called me "baby" and as far as I was concerned he was persona non grata.

Posted by Milly B at August 15, 2005 05:21 PM

From 1922 to 1924 my father was a medical officer at Ft.Wadsworth, the site of my earliest memories. We lived in a two-story wooden house with an enclosed porch, part of a row of similar houses which sloped up toward a hill overlooking the water. At that end of the street on the opposite side was the bachelors' quarters and a tennis court where I remember watching my father play. There was also a field where dandelions florished in early spring and we went picking so my grandmother could make dandelion wine. A big treat was to go via ferry and subway to a zoo on the mainland. I remember using a sled on the incline between two houses. I thought it was a steep hill until I visited the post after WW 2 and realized how one's perceptions change as one grows. The one personality I recall from those long-ago days was the post tailor, a foreigner, who called me "baby" and as far as I was concerned he was persona non grata.

Posted by Milly B at August 15, 2005 05:29 PM

I went to school there as a chaplin asst. back in 1975. I have some good memories of that Fort. during my stay i really didn't get to look into the history the next time i am in NEW YORK i will visit it.

Posted by Daniel Forrest at August 21, 2005 11:58 PM

1978 Ft.Wadsworth
It was amazing to find this on the internet.
I had often thought about Ft. Wadsworth over the years. A couple of times when I was in NYC I wanted to go visit but was unable to get over there, I so wanted to go check out the places I had been and lived. My father was a Chaplain stationed there in 78 we lived not to far from the main gate/entrance. It felt much like a gated community. In fact some of the kids from the high rises that surrounded my school thought I was rich because I lived there and wanted me to give them my lunch money.
I attended 8th grade at PS49 (Dreyfus Jr. High) and my brother Evan was in 9th grade.
I recall playing capture the flag in thick fog with the neighborhood kids and skateboarding, and climbing through a window in the old battery exploring through the dark allowing our imagination to get the best of us at times. I recall the slits in the walls facing the water where the barrel of a gun might fit through.
It was a fascinating place to live.
I remember the old theatre and bowling alley.
We left Ft. Wadsworth in '79 for Ft.Richardson Alaska. What a change in climate as well as culture.Though a vast expanse to explore there it seemed that Ft. Wadworth to me was more interesting.
Our time there was only 8 months wish it had been longer.
Amy Holland Hendrix

Posted by Amy Holland Hendrix at August 24, 2005 02:28 PM

What a great site! I was Supply Sergeant for the 26th Army Band from Nov '75 to about Aug '77. I got approval to get married down in the old battery, but when I went down and saw the condition it was in, we switched over to the Chapel. I sure would like to get in touch with my old band buddies.

Posted by David Hudson at August 24, 2005 11:20 PM

Hello Everyone!

Especially to the developer of this site. I have a request. Is it possible to add more pictures of the Fort, providing an overview of what it looks like today - the buildings, street views, and any other points of interests. Although I last stepped out of the gates of Fort Wadsworth in late 1968 as a young man, now at the age of 58, I'm still curious how the Fort has changed over the years and how it is used today. Is it completely public lands? Are military personnel still housed there? Thank you for everybodies input. You have provided a little history lesson that all of us took part in this little military post that they called Fort Wadsworth.

Dave P.

Posted by Dave P. at September 1, 2005 11:39 AM

Just so that all will know, a re-lighting of the historic Fort Wadsworth lighthouse (atop Battery Weed) will take place on Saturday, September 24th. The event runs from 3 to 7 PM. There will be tours of both Fort Tompkins and Battery Weed, as well as the park's new History House on Mont Sec Avenue. Stop by the Visitor Center that day (housed in what was to be the Navy's new HQ) to find out everything going on. And its all free!

Posted by Kevin Hanley at September 13, 2005 12:57 PM

My grfather had a sister named Dencey Davis from Long island.She married a man named John or Joseph fitzgerald.I'm not sure if he was in the military or not.I remember seeing a lot of pictures of a guy in a uniform.I also remember many letters from her over the years listing her address as fort wadsworth.The last mention of her was in fathers obit in 1952.assuming she has passed away always wondered where she was buried and what her connection was to Fort Wadsworth
Gerry Davis

Posted by gerald davis at September 15, 2005 11:04 AM

I was stationed here in the early 90's and brought my son back this past summer. He was really excited to see where his parents lived, worked and met. He loves history and the tour was fantastic. We took some great pics. Hope all is well with the old clinic crew. Thanks for the everlasting memories.

Posted by Melanie Mayes-Green at September 20, 2005 03:08 PM

We moved to Fort Wadsworth in 1975 so my father could attend the Chaplain school. After attending the school they kept Dad on the staff until 1979. At first we lived in the Row House just up the hill from the main gate. Later we moved into the first house on the gate side of Mont Sec.

Some of my most vivid memories involve me getting into some kind of trouble. Either getting busted for sneaking into the bunkers, or into the infrequently used Officers Club. We were also there for the great black out of '77.

I attended Trinity Lutheran School from 4th to 7th grade and all my school friends loved coming to visit. The opportunity to explore the base and see how the army brats lived was never turned down.

Thanks for the pictures and memories.

Posted by Mike Savely at September 21, 2005 02:43 PM

Hello all, I really enjoyed reading all the comments about Fort Wadsworth where i was stationed back in Dec 1960-August 1962. I was a Spec 4 working at the post Finance Office located up on the second floor of the Quadrangle. I remember a Commissary being in the Quad and the Quartermaster Office there too. I really enjoyed being at Ft. Wadsworth and the entire time there observed the building of the VZ Narrows bridge from day 1. i remember them working three shifts around the clock digging the huge hole in the ground which was to become the Staten Is. anchor of the now famous bridge. I also ran the Projector on post as a part time job and got to see many movies for free there. We lived in a newly constructed Barracks which was also used as a summer camp for reservists from Camp Drum NY. Al in all it holds many memories for me as I met a wonderful young lady there named Carmela Caruso who lived over in Long Is. City in Queens. Just before leaving for Japan at the end of July I had a tearful departure at Idlewild airport(Kennedy airport now) and promised her i would return. I did not return however so I will never know what happened to this lovely young person whom I loved derly while stationed there. I also remember the great little tavern(pub located just outside the gate and Bay st which served Italian Subs and I would go there in the late evening and order out. Great food!

Posted by James(Jim) Hankes at October 5, 2005 02:25 AM

Wowzer, great comments. Just like the "blast from the past". I too was stationed at Fort Wadsworth. The period was from 1956-1957. My unit was the 338th Signal Detachment Radar Maintenance (SDRM). Our shop was up the hill and down the back road towards the "Blacksmith" shop and where they earlier "blued" some of the weapons. At my arrival, CWO Godsey was the C.O. Late we had a new C.O., CWO Williams We were manned with a TO&E with three Radar Repairmen and Two Generator Mechanics. Some names of our team through that period was Gus Stangland, Marlow Burt, Patrick Mccabe, George RoseMarie, myself Dave Streiff and James Dudley from North Carolina. Our mission was to service the AAA Batterys and Nike Ajax sites from New Jersey, Staten Island, and points west. We were billeted with the AAA battery folks at Wadsworth. Stange that we were not attached to the 999 Signal Bn. I would guess that was because we were "detached" from the 52nd Brigade. Oh, I distinctly remember we had a bunker down in the "old" fort (down the winding road facing the Narrows) where we stored our excess equipment. This was at sea level with the Narrows. Sometimes it was kinda spooky down there. The Quadrangle had a Commisary and we didn't go over there very much. I do remember where the "Crypto" guys were. Once in a while we got to work on some "K" equipment. No drawings or instructions. Anything that said AN/SIGNAL CORPS on it, we were supposed to repair. Go figure! We had two 2 1/2 ton trucks, one with an AN/GSS Tipsy 1D radar in it, 1 Weapons Carrier, and 1 jeep. As I said, we traveled all over New York and New Jersey to do our work. We were de-commissioned in late 1957 and I moved over to Fort Tilden (in the Rockaways) to do the same job.
Whew, what a ride!!!!!

Posted by Dave Streiff at October 7, 2005 02:21 PM

Saw Patricia Roura's post concerning the King House. I lived there as well during 1951-52, while my father was stationed at the Fort before shipping over to Korea. We were on the top floor apartment on the East side of the building overlooking the lawn that ran down to the water's edge.

I have been trying to find a street name for the King House. I have no recollection of the street name or address - it's over 50 years ago, so understandable. Can anyone help me out?

Posted by Jeff Holmes at October 8, 2005 09:10 AM

My Dad was discharged from the Army at Fort Wadsworth on October 23, 1945. Anyone who was there at that time, I would love to hear from. You might have known him. He has been deceased since 1986. Thanks Marie

Posted by marie westfall at October 13, 2005 12:52 PM

Our daughter, who is a nanny in NJ sent us this site this afternoon. Not a lot of names that we remember, but we were both in the 26th Army Band during 74-77. The pictures bring back a lot of memories. :-) We were too busy during the Army's Bicentennial (75) and America's Bicentennial (76) to do a lot of exploring, but we did fly kites from the fort :-) We're in Western PA now. Anybody else from the band that finds this site, send an email and let us know how you're doing!

Posted by Bill & Vivian Oaks at October 16, 2005 04:45 PM

I was a clarinet player in the 26th Army Band from 1978-80 at Fort Wadsworth. I left right before they moved the band over the bridge to Fort Hamilton. In those days, my name was Jay Fiegel. Fiegel was my alcoholic stepfather's name and I changed it back to Brooks after my mother passed away. I was there for a visit just about a year or so ago and it looks completely different. I couldn't even find the old barracks. They must have torn it down, but that seems weird since it was a Civil War era hospital.

I've been trying to find Kevin Maguire (french horn) and Gene Curtis (saxophone) if anybody knows where they are I'd greatly like to know their whereabouts. Thanks.

Anybody else there when I was?


Posted by Jay Brooks at November 11, 2005 04:03 PM

I lived on Fort Wadsworth from 1977 to 1978. I lived in the first apartments on the left just past the gate. I went to the third grade at ps39. My sister Ginger Young was in the sixth grade at ps39. Me and my best buddy Mike explored as many bunkers as we could. We always had to keep an eye out for the MP's. I was visiting my dad in Ga during the blackout of 77 and the big snow of 78 but we got back in time to play in the snow. These pictures bring back a lot of memories.


Posted by Bert Young at December 8, 2005 03:50 PM

I performed in the 26th US Army Band from '65-'66; was solo-bassoonist. And yes, I was in the bus when the fiery crash occurred on the NJ Turnpike.

I'd love to hear from any old troopers/Troopersesses out there :-)

Musically yours,


Eric Schleiffer
Retired Military

Posted by Eric Schleiffer at December 12, 2005 03:30 PM

My dad was the 1st sergeant of Hq Co, 80th AA from 1956-1961. We lived off post but I spent a lot of hours roaming the Fort and going into places that were off limits. One day, a friend and I were walking back from such an excursion when we were met by the Post Commander, General Duff. There was no doubt in his mind where we had been, and he knew our Dads. He just walked past, said "Hi" and nothing ever came of it. No pun intended, but I guess we dodge a bullet.

Posted by bob fickes at January 1, 2006 08:41 PM

I recently heard back from Pat Roura and directly from Ranger Dan, who works at the Gateway National Recreation site (Fort Wadsworth is now part of this national site). They both sent me pics of the old house (King House) I used to live in back in 52!

Ranger Dan is at and I'll bet he has more info. at his disposal that he'd be glad to provide to anyone interested.

Posted by JEFF HOLMES at January 9, 2006 10:42 AM

My Dad was a Chaplain at Ft. Wadworth in the 70s. I think we left in 77, I was in 6th grade, going on 7th.

We went to school at Trinity Lutheran.

We lived at 101-B Montsec... I remember all the bunkers, the haunted house at the end of Mont Sec, Battery Weed, Suicide hill (we called it that)

I remember hassling the hell out of the MPs at the main gate. Man they hated us! Good times... I hope to go back someday. Google Local is interesting because you can see the satellite view..

During our stay we:
Saw the long ships come through in 76
Saw The Sea Witch burn under the Verazzano
Saw a dead body
Road our bikes at Battery weed (danger)
Harvested "stink rock" from the museum
Harvested inedible oysters from the bay
Found a lot of neat stuff in the bunkers in the small forest behind the main fort above Battery Weed (museum)

My Dad got a personel carrier and a tank out in front of the sea wall for my 10th birthday.

My sister found a $20 that had floated down from the entry ramp of the Verazzano bridge..

Man I miss that place. What a great place to grow up.

Posted by Ross Brandt at January 18, 2006 11:42 AM

I Visited Fort Wadsworth In October 1999.My Great Grandfather Lawrence Hannan Was Stationed There After He Was Mustered Out In July 1863.Then It Was Called Fort Richmond.Lawrence Served With The 18th N.Y.N.G.In The Civil War.I Have Some Old Photos Of The Barracks,Also A List Of Other Units That Were Stationed There.Lawrence Enlisted In Co.H July 1863 And Was Sent To Maryland(Frederick)To Stop Lee's Advance Toward Washington.Also Was Stationed At Fort Marshall ,Baltimore Md.Served In The Eight Corps(Attached To The Sixth Corp)Served Under Colonel James Ryder.His Commanding Officer Was Peter Jay.Mustered Out In July Of 1863.Sent To Fort Richmond (Harbour Duty)Died In Rye New York 1889 Of Pneumonia Buried In Holy Sepulchre Cemetery In New Rochelle New York.

Posted by Bob Hannan at January 27, 2006 06:04 PM

I lived @ 19 Fingerboard Rd at the corner of Bay street just behind the Getty Gas station from 83-85(The nice old house with the little blue bridge)I too explored the forts when I was a kid. I remember a few times going up and hanging out in the look out tower with my friends(Joe-Mike-Helloo) We would hop over the fence from Van-Breezn's park(think that's the name of the park) and take the trail down to the beach. Awesome memories!

Posted by Dan at February 10, 2006 09:43 PM

I work here on Fort Wadsworth. Anybody need any information, I would be happy to help out. After reading all the comments, I don't think the Fort has changed that much, other than it is open to the public. I just went down to the Fort yesterday to explore, and I can tell that I will be spending alot of time down there. Very interesting.

Posted by Mark at March 6, 2006 05:37 PM

I am very impressed with the most interesting entries since I posted my original entry several years back. I was assigned to the 1st Army NY Band (spring 1966 to fall of 1968)aka 26th Army Band formerly known as the 297th Army Band. It has always seemed to me the Army had a time keeping track of its various enventory including "Army Bands" by all of the changes over the years..
It is a revelation to read all of your historical accounts of this GREAT AMERICAN LANDMARK including the Civil War era.

We were emmersed in our music and and our love interests and thoughts of possibly going to Viet Nam, or going back to civilan life, I had little time for history. Being a trumpet player, I will always vividly recall all the many funerals for those GREAT YOUNG MEN men lost in that tragic war as do my collegues, I am sure!

The great times playing all over New York City and the very talented musicians of which a few went on to the play with big time artists and become music giants themselves is noteworthy.

We had Major General Yancy on the post. I would catch him out on his morning walk and enjoyed saluting him but, everyone knew Col De Maria ran the place as I stated before. Thanks to his son n law for the update and I enjoyed learning more about him. Anyone know what happened to CWO ARTHUR B SHETTLE who was our CO?

Please reach me at:

To my fellows in the band and in the uniform, Peace and love to you all.


Posted by Lynn Claughton at March 11, 2006 09:04 PM

I was stationed from June to September 1955 at Ft. Wadsworth as a Spec 3 but spent most of my time at Miller Field as an Ordnance Radar Repairman. My unit serviced Nike missile bases and 88mm anti-aicraft bases in and around Staten Island and New Jersey. My sergeant was Sgt Locasio(?), a great guy.
At the time we had an apartment in Brooklyn so I commuted most of the time except when I had night time repairs.
I loved the posting and thought of the Fort as one big museum.

Posted by Leonard Epstein at March 14, 2006 12:17 PM

I just received orders to Fort Wadsworth. My wife and I will be moving there in July.

Posted by Matt at March 25, 2006 07:54 PM

I just stumbled upon this site after opening an article in the NY Times about Staten Island.
I too was a trumpet player in the 1st Army New York Band (26th Army Band) from October '66 to January '69. And I remember Lynn Claughton and Eric Schleiffer from those days. I was on the bus on the NJ Turnpike headed for Philadelphia when the crash occurred. I still have very vivid memories of it even to this day. Somehow I was picked (probably by MSG Howard C. "Joe" College) to play Taps for Terry Armstrong's military funeral in upstate New York-a hard gig emotionally.
I seem to remember the positive things at Ft Wadsworth. Of course playing in the band with some very fine players. And being able to study in the city with a major trumpet artest courtesy of Uncle Sam. Although we managed to bitch about a lot of things, it really was very good duty. The hardest part was playing those funerals for the next of kin of the soldiers who died in Vietnam.
I remember Col. D. somehow "aquiring" a whole truckload of recordings and offering them to the band members for free. I still have them and they are priceless to me.
Some of the other players in the band that I have knowledge of are John Nelson, tp, who died a year or so ago. He played with the Ft Worth Symphony. Brad Parkinson,bassoon, who died about 3 summers ago. I saw Norman Smith ,tp, many years ago when he was playing with the New Orleans Symphony. And I stayed with Jim Frazier and his wife in Columbus, Ohio many years ago when I was on the road.
The last time I was at Ft Wadsworth was 1982 & 1984 when I ran the NYC Marathon which starts at the toll booths going over the bridge.
So many memories.
Lynn, are you still playing the trumpet? You were a very relaxed player as I remember ( I probably was envious!)
Eric I'm sure you remember Brad Parkinson. It seems to me that you spent some time in Scandinavia if I am not mistaken.
Anyway, thanks for the photos of the bridge and Battery Weed.
Best to all!
Dave Cowperthwaite

Posted by Dave Cowperthwaite at May 13, 2006 08:14 PM

Hello Everyone,

I occassionally visit this site and see if there are some new blog entrants. Personally, I served at Fort Wadsworth in 1967-68. The latest entrant, Dave C., reminds me of the extra duties I had performing pallbearer and body escort services of men killed in Nam. It was extra duty, due to the the large numbers coming home in body bags. The group that performed the services were stretched to the limit.

I was not a band member, but worked in the Quadrangle. It was odd, how the band members and other personnel in the billet had limited communications.

I remember the record give away. I may still have them around, somewhere.

I would like to hear from other people who served at Fort Wads around 1966-68, and worked in the Quad, or billeted in the barracks at that time.

Take care all,

Dave P.

Posted by Dave Pfefferkorn at May 16, 2006 10:40 AM

I was statined at Fort Wadsworth when the Verazano was just about finished. I drove over it the first day it was opened. I stayed in the area, Governors Island, Fort Hamilton for the better part of 3 years. It was quite an experience for a small town soldier-Brownsville, Texas. Very nice pictures.

Posted by Juan M. Reyna at May 25, 2006 10:00 AM

Most of my teenage years (1970's) were spent in Fort Wadsworth exploring all the batteries and tunnels hanging out with the Army children. I now own a home on Bay Street 2 blocks from the front gate and learned that it was the home of Colonel Butler. I have attempted to research but came up empty.

Posted by Amy S. at May 25, 2006 01:21 PM

I am searching for Eric Monteith that used to live on Mont Sec Avenue. We grew up together on Fort Wadsworth. He is probably about 36 or 37 by now -- we were living on Fort Wadsworth from 1981 or so to about 1984..

Posted by ME Carson at May 26, 2006 06:26 AM

I was with the 26th Army Band 1976 to 78. Would like to hear from the old gang.

Posted by Claudia Whittaker at June 14, 2006 02:32 PM


Posted by ROBERT LOPEZ at June 15, 2006 04:12 PM

We just received orders, as well and should be arriving on Fort Wadsworth in July. Would anyone, by any chance, have current pics of the housing apartments?

Posted by Valerie at June 20, 2006 12:47 AM

Found this web site while searching the web - I was in the Navy and moved over to Ft. Wadsworth when we relocated out of Brooklyn in the late 80's early 90's. Actually lived in the brand new base housing. Glad to see that it is being preserved and that the USCG has taken over the housing, after the Navy left I thought it was just closed.

Posted by Laurie at July 12, 2006 09:36 AM

Eric Monteith. Didnt he live at 106b Mont Sec Avenue? He wasnt that nice of a guy from what I remember -- I think he was somewhat of a gang leader on Fort Wadsworth.

Posted by wayne m. at July 20, 2006 07:17 AM

Ok I have a quick ? what about all the ghost stories people talk about when I was a kid there was a couple of stories I used to here have any of you seen or heard anything unexplainable while working @ ft. wadsworth ?

Posted by Joe m at August 12, 2006 11:08 PM

I am currently living on the Fort. My husband is AD CG.
I would love to hear of the ghosts stories around base....

I wanted to ask about this:

Quote: I remember living in a hugh house by the back gate called the King House.

Was it blue?? And do you consider "the back gate" the one off Father Cappodonno? The gate near the horses and the road to housing?
If so, it's still there! In fact they are revamping the house as we speak. I don't know why but it's a pretty cool looking house.

Posted by Laffy at August 14, 2006 03:16 PM

We just received orders, as well and should be arriving on Fort Wadsworth in July. Would anyone, by any chance, have current pics of the housing apartments?

Have you arrived?? LOL

Posted by Laffy at August 14, 2006 03:18 PM

Do you know of any apts. in a safe, clean area for rent.

Posted by John Beene at September 20, 2006 10:39 PM

I lived at Ft. Wadsworth from 73-76. My dad was at the Chaplain's School. I graduated from New Dorp HS in 74 and went to college. Went back and forth from TN in my little blue '67 Mustang convertible. Loved that car. Played softball with a bunch of girls from off-base. I hung out with Bernadette Morris, Susan Bateman, and Kathy Forsberg. We explored the bunkers/tunnels and wandered the base. Liked to walk up to the sea wall and watch the sailboats etc. I loved our house, the ones at Offutt AFB on General's Row are VERY similar to them.
I guess harrassing the MP's was a regular pasttime for dependents.....we would be hanging out in groups of 15-20 kids after dark, and when they'd drive by we'd scatter to the four winds just for the fun of it. I drove through the base on a quick trip two years ago and was happy it was still there and being cared for. I was surprised that so many of the old houses were boarded up and they didn't look as big as I remembered. My little brother Duane, could climb out his window on the third floor and climb down the fire escape without my parents hearing him!!! And the excape was right outside their bedroom window. My dad was hard of hearing then, pretty deaf now...
Mom and dad still maintain contact with many of the other chaplains from then, and I made contact with Bernie and Phil Morris through I'd welcome any emails from friends of then. God Bless!!

Posted by Sharon Bell Ingram at September 21, 2006 12:05 PM

I was at Fort Wadsworth just yesterday during a visit to Staten Island. I was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island but have lived in Chicago for the past twenty years. I have been over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge a hundred times but I had never visited the Fort before. It is incredible.

The view, to say the least, is panoramic! It has to be one of the greatest vistas in the United States. If the government ever sells Fort Wadsworth to developers at its true market value, the proceeds would pay for social security, the national debt, a manned mission to Mars, two simultaneous wars, universal healthcare, free college and a new car for every American!

In terms of just the view, I realized that Fort Wadsworth is to New York City what the bay area's Treasure Island (also a former military base) is to San Francisco.

During a walk down to Battery Weed I watched a film crew shoot
"pick ups" for the History Channel. They used the stone arches of the battery for scenes that were supposed to be ancient Rome, Seventeeth century France and even China!

The most amazing event of the day though was that while walking back up the hill from the battery I saw a raccoon the size of a German Shepherd. (Raccoons out in the middle of the day are a danger sign so I decided to take another route.) I have seen wildlife all over the US but if anyone ever told me that
I would have to go to New York City to see the biggest raccoon ever I would not have believed it!

As a previous post mentions,Fort Wadsworth is actually a series of different forts and fortifications that were built, modified and then abandoned for newer ones over the past two hundred years. One of the historical plaques on the grounds maps out the locations of a total of fourteen different batteries spanning every period of American history. Fort Wadsworth is one of those gorgeous, unexpected gems that is all the more terrific because it is such a complete surprise. As they say over in Brooklyn: "Who coulda' known?!!!" Go see it!

Posted by Richard Kennedy at September 23, 2006 11:34 PM

Ive finally found out where my father was stationed when I was born. I've been telling everybody where I lived as stated on my birth certificate. Every New Yorker I've run across has never heard of the place.

Posted by Ray Takeda at October 6, 2006 03:28 AM

I'm trying to track down some old frinds from Wadsworth, I lived there from 73-78 on Mont Sec Ave. (don't remember the exact address but it was at the end of the street near the Officer's Club). I went to Staten Island Academy, graduated in 78 and then moved to Germany. Two of my best friends at the time were Peter & Chris Hossut and Kieth Windmiller - if anyone has any info I'd appreciate it!

Posted by Mike Grubb at October 12, 2006 12:05 PM


The King House was located on McClean Ave, just about where Lily Pond/Cappodono cross. McClean used to dead end at that spot, but much of that area has been developed since '52, especially with the advent of the Bridge and associated Highway, exits, etc. I had heard previously from Rousa that the King House was "being torn down" and I cannot find it on Google Earth, so I suspect you're referring to another place. When I do an image search on Google, I have gotten a few pics that are titled "former site of King House" or the like. Too bad, it was very cool architecturally, housed six families on three floors (four if you count my sister bedroom!), and was quite close to the water on the east side, with great views across to Coney Island, etc.

Posted by Jeff Holmes at October 15, 2006 01:08 PM

I was hoping someone would catch the name of Phil Morris and write to correct me, but since nobody has.....It's actually Victor Morris, he used to play his trumpet up on the seawall overlooking the fort. Here are some more names to look for: Kenny Stover, Jim Young, Marla Mahaffee ... I'll try to remember more....

Posted by Sharon Ingram at October 19, 2006 11:21 AM

It's great to know that it is a park now and people can get in. My father was stationed there in 1968 for six months, I was 8 then and explored every bunker, tunnel, and room (s) in the side of a hill that I could get to. Some of those places were very unsafe and probly still are.
Is there any place to get a map of the grounds?
I hope I get the chance to go back and visit with my son (14) someday. We live in S. FL and he asked me what a bunker was, kids just don't know these days, they need to get out and expore!

Posted by Dallas T. at October 20, 2006 08:30 PM

Anyone live on the fort during the early 80's? My mom was stationed there from 1980-1988. We lived on Camp Road.

Posted by WYNTER at November 4, 2006 11:07 AM

Hi Sharon,
This is Derek Morris. Contact me and I can get you in contact with Victor and Bernadette.

Mike Grubb, you can also contact me too. I believe that I might be able to get you in contact with Keith Windmiller or at least his sister Leslie.

Mark Williams, I grew up with John's sister Judy, Gary's brother and sister Pam & Reiner and remember Sue Andrews also.

I attended ps 39, ps 49, and New Dorp.

The King was painted blue at one time, then repainted white when they made it PMO Lundsford's home.

My father was the housing director for Fort Wadsworth. We lived there from 1970 - 1977. So I remember many different "waves" of people moving in and out...especially the "Chaplains kids". I recently reconnected with youth pastor George Fields if that is of interest to anyone. I have plenty of stories about "Headless", the Ammunition and other Bunkers and all of you guys... : )

Please contact me folks - I'd love to hear from you. Lord Bless You and Keep You!

Derek "Foots" Morris

Posted by Derek Morris at November 11, 2006 01:05 AM

Hello Sandy Amerio,
Happy to receive your email. It's interesting that you are going to produce a film about Fort Wadsworth; it's truly an unique and historic place. Sandy, you may have already contacted Jack Lichtenstein, who is a contributer to this website, too. He was a curator for the museum at Fort Wadsworth at the time I was there - 1967-68. He also is the son-in-law to one the most colorful NCO's of that time, Colonel DeMaria. He may be willing and able to assist you in the history of the place; more than I. I may be able to help in some small way. I would like to see the final results of the film. Enjoy the place, as I did 40 years ago.

Dave Pfefferkorn

Posted by D. Pfefferkorn at December 8, 2006 09:36 AM

I Took Chaplain's Asst. Traing at Wadsworth Oct-Dec 1974. I will be in NYC in July.Is the Fort still open to the public? Fantastic view, great place.We had pizza delivered from a place in the area can't remember the name but the best pizza I've had.

Posted by Joe Gardner at December 9, 2006 03:26 PM

Hello again to All and a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year--2007.
Having left Fort Wadsworth on July 29,1962 on my way to Chitose, Japan where I stayed until my discharge on Jun 10,1963 ; of all my "good memories" of my time in Service, I consider the time I spent at Ft. Wadswworth the greatest.
I arrived in NYC at Penn Station in Manhattan on or about Dec 6th of 1960 and the first thing I witnessed was a body on the steps of the train station. As I approached this supposedly dead person a cop said just leave it alone since an ambulance had been called and they would remove it soon.
Look, I was shy 2 weeks of my 18th birthday and this was certainly an eye opener.
In the next few days after checking in at Ft. Wadsworth I'm up at the Post Finance office on the 2nd tier of the Quadrangle and I heard this long bang and two planes had just collided over the narrows which was just to the west of the fort and one plane landed at Miller Army Air field and the 2nd plance a Jet went down in Brooklyn killing all aboard. Such action and I was so young I begin to think that this would be an interesting assignment.
Soldiers at Wadsworth helped other rescue teams locally to retrieve body parts scattered all over the airfield and bring them bach to a porch to be tagged and sorted out for identification purposes.
Whew! After this gentle introduction to military life it was all uphill from there.
More later!

Posted by Jim Hankes at December 24, 2006 07:05 PM

Why such behavior from one park police? How could this be allowed on Fort Wadsworth? (reference to the 110 indictment of rape)

Posted by a.n. at December 31, 2006 11:37 AM

Hi all,
Derek...I tried to email you, but the address is incomplete. I hope you get back to this again. Drop me a line at I'd love to catch up and revisit!!!
Sharon Bell Ingram

Posted by Sharon B.Ingram at February 12, 2007 09:42 AM

realy weired shit man. i would love to be there

Posted by john demaria at March 5, 2007 04:17 PM

realy weired shit man. i would love to be there

Posted by john demaria at March 5, 2007 04:17 PM

My family lived at Ft. Wadsworth from 1972-74. My sister and I went to P.S.39R. We lived on tennesse Rd. In the only trailor court area. It was about 12 trailors in a row. We were in the 2nd one. The motor pool was right across the street and then the commisary, the pool, and now a baseball field, but we were all over the place all the time. My sister and I met up with some girls we went to school with The Bertrums? Here in Elpaso, but I"m hopeing to find my best friend Kim Napier. We lost touch after she moved to Oakland California. So if your out there kim Looked me up I'm still in Elpaso, Texas 33 years later! Peggy Johnson.

Posted by peggy johnson at March 10, 2007 04:21 PM

26th Army Band was one of the best experiences I ever had--what a great group of guys!!!

Posted by Daniel Cross at March 10, 2007 07:42 PM

So great to read some of thsee very interesting posts regarding your experiences and memories of Fort Wadsworth. What a shame the army closed it. I was privileged to have been on the instructional staff - Enlisted Training Division at the Chaplain School - at Hamilton and its subsequent move to Wadsworth. Those were great times. I recognize many of your names - especially the children of some of the chaplains assigned at the USACHCS.

GOD bless and be with you all!
Mike Stranz

Posted by Mike Stranz at March 13, 2007 09:04 PM

My dad was at the Chaplain's School in the late 1970s. We lived in the Row Houses. I remember hanging out by the seawall with my brothers, Tim and Tom Carroll, Victor Morris and his trumpet, Paul Fishburn and several other good people. I remember the hurricaine and watching the lights go out on Manhattan during the blackout. Good memories. Nice to see these photos!

Posted by Rissa Carroll Sear at March 19, 2007 03:41 PM

I was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth, attending USACHAS in 1976. I loved the location. I loved the history, and its location which gave great access to all of NYC especially Manhatten. We would go to the USO and get free tickets to all kinds of plays, movies etc. We would get discount tickets to restaurants. We had excellent access to all the cultural sites. I loved the ancient history of the Fort. I loved the contrast between the ancient Dutch Fort and the VZ Bridge. It was a great time in my life.

Posted by Joe at April 18, 2007 02:04 PM

I was at Ft Hamilton in early 1972, takeing my Chaplains Assistant training there. We'd often go over to Ft Wadsworth, had a great time exploring when we were supposed to be training. I remember the musket ball indentations in the walls, and wed go down near the water and remember lots of debris in the waters edge. Awesome cool of fort. Over at Ft Hamilton we had a ball going downtown NY traveling in a group, getting in the wrong neighbords and getting almost mugged. Jumping the turnstiles for the subway, being chased by muggers. We actually did pay our 10 cent sub fare later. Great memories of the USO down by times square, first rate broadway plays for free. Only thing I didin't like was the winds blowing in from the bay in Feb it can get pretty cold. Nice to see this, it brings back great memories. I wonder how many of us would get our pictures in or on those big old cannons there in battery park? enjoyed the site,dave

Posted by dave oakley at April 18, 2007 08:44 PM

I was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth from late 60 thru summer of 61. Then got transferred to Naples, Italy. I was with the Signal Corp and worked at the transmitter site down over the hill from the barracks. I was selected to go upstate NY where they were building the new comm center and transmitter site (Bullville, NY) as the Army rep monitoring the building of the site. I was in the middle of this when I was transferred to Italy.

Boy, lots of old memories about the old place.

Merle Wagner
West Ossipee, NH

Posted by Merle Wagner at May 1, 2007 07:12 PM

I was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth from late 60 thru summer of 61. Then got transferred to Naples, Italy. I was with the Signal Corp and worked at the transmitter site down over the hill from the barracks. I was selected to go upstate NY where they were building the new comm center and transmitter site (Bullville, NY) as the Army rep monitoring the building of the site. I was in the middle of this when I was transferred to Italy.

Boy, lots of old memories about the old place.

Merle Wagner
West Ossipee, NH

Posted by Merle Wagner at May 1, 2007 07:16 PM

Wow, it's been a long time. I was stationed at Ft Hamiliton / Ft. Wadsworth from late 74' to mid 77 with the 563rd. MP C0. Our patrols covered Wadsworth. This web site brings back so many memories; almost all of them wonderful! I will write again soon.

Posted by Paul Mitchell at May 19, 2007 09:31 AM

Oh boy. I don't want to be a pest on this site but two days after I posted a comment I am remembering alot from my time on Ft. Wadsworth. The base commander was a Major Gezzleman. He was as tough as nails and as I remember was a decorated infantryman. I recall the 26th. Army band and the Warrent Officer who led it. I don't remember his name but I recall he liked to be called by his first name. The Chaplins Asst. school was on the fort. For a while our MP barraks were in the same building. Their school commander was a full bird Col. Our MP NCO in charge was SSG. Girard, a French Canadian. A great fellow by the name of SSG Womack ran the museum in the quadrangle (the old fort). There was a sign at the Bay st. gate wher the MP gate shack was that said that this was the oldest constently manned fort in the country. Yes I remember Mark Royce from the 563rd. He was a great friend and a wonderful person.

Posted by paul mitchell at May 21, 2007 07:37 PM

I lived on Ft. Wadsworth as a child. I have some good memories and some very sad memories from there. Does anyone know the name of the park that was right behind the Officer housing? Anyone out there go to PS 39 from 69-70 and have Mrs. Fontek as their teacher?

Posted by Kirsten at May 26, 2007 09:50 AM

My wife & I remember Fort Wadsworth well, and happily. We were there most of 1955 (my return from Korea) through mid-1956. I was assigned to the 999th Signal Company (Support). At first we lived off post, but then moved into Qtrs. 4-A, and have lots of funny/humorous stories that get told over and over. Such as the time I headed to work (walking) with NO insignia of rank on my shoulders. Embarassed, I survived! There were many, many great people in the 999th and on the post: BG Hennig, Maj Palades, Cpt Jim Copps (who was actually the MP/Provost Marshall for the post), Cpt Sawey & Cpt McGonagle (successive 999th commanders), and several LTs and NCOs who ran the company and kept me straight.

Posted by Don Clark at June 17, 2007 02:01 PM

I am researching my birth place for a birth certificate application and found out today from my mother (who is still alive and well) that I was born in the medical facility at Fort Wadsworth but she couldn't remember the exact name. May, 1952. My father had just been shipped out to Korea so wasn't in the States when I was born. Anyone know the name of that facility?

Posted by Jim Hunter at July 3, 2007 10:18 AM

Jim Hunter,
In reply to your request for the name of a Medical Facility which served Ft. Wadsworth at that time; may I suggest that it was probably the Public Service Health Hospital, located approx 1 mile or so west from the fort off Bay Street.
The reason I mentioned this was I too was a patient there in Sept 1961 with Gall Bladder problems and if you had anything serious or were about to be delivered, in your case your mother was most likel;y sent there for the birth.
There was a small infirmary on post however they were limited as to what they could do there, so they would send people to the big Hospital down the road.
Hope this info is helpful.
Yours truly, Jim Hankes
Stationed a t Wadsworth from Dec 8, 1960 thru July 30, 1962 when I was sent to Japan for the rest of my tour of duty!

Posted by Jim Hankes at July 4, 2007 02:16 PM

This is a fascinating site, and I bet all you former GIs, spouses and brats know little about the modern history of Ft Wadsworth. It now serves, every spring, as the end point in the annual NYC 5-boro bicycle "marathon," which starts in lower Manhattan and runs up through the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, bringing thousands of exhausted bikers finally to this gem on the Narrows.
But even more important is what happens there on the first Sunday of every November. In 1976, as NYC's bicentennial "gift" to the nation, Fred Lebow, the late founder and president of the NY Road Runners Club, re-routed the NYC Marathon -- with the approval of Mayor Abe Beame -- from 4-times-around-Central-Park to a 5-boro extravaganza that has developed into the premier event of its kind in the world -- the only Marathon (other than the Olympic marathon) to be telecast coast-to-coast, start to finish. 35,000 runners will start gathering at Ft Wadsworth in the pre-dawn hours that day in preparation for the start at the entrance to the Verrazano Bridge. As you might imagine, the first 2 miles of that event are the most spectacular start of any marathon in the world, with all the fireboats in the harbor shooting their multicolored water-sprays in the air in honor of the runners. The first mile (up to the center of the bridge) is actually the steepest hill on the 26-mile course, but you never notice it -- first, because you're so pumped up at the spectacle, and second, because the crush of people makes it impossible to start running until you reach the top of the "hill" anyway.
An amazing amount of work goes into preparing the post, and, of course, to clean-up afterward. The post is left with lots of litter, including literally tons of warm-up suits, which are collected, cleaned, and given to charity.
I ran my first NYC Marathon in 1983. In those days, one of the features at Fort Wadsworth, for that day, was "the world's longest (outdoor) urinal," which was basically a metal trough that ran for about 50 yards, and ultimately spilled, as a raging yellow torrent, into a sewer drain. (I think this has since been replaced by porta-sans.)
I only ran 2 marathons, but I've been back to Ft Wadsworth on Marathon Day ever since. In 1983 I inaugurated a pre-race service for Jewish runners in the NYC Marathon -- the first organized religious service of any kind at that event. This November 4th will be a landmark anniversary -- the 25th annual International Minyan for NYC Marathoners -- just another item that adds to the special flavor of the world's greatest road race. If you know of any Jewish runners who will be doing the NYC Marathon, and want to experience something truly unique in the world of sports, in a spectacular outdoor setting, have them contact me at
It's great to be a part of the history of this beautiful place.

Posted by Peter Berkowsky (Col, USAFR, ret) at July 10, 2007 09:44 AM

I just happened to stumble on this site looking for something else. What a pleasant surprise. I was a trumpet player in the 1st Army Band from 1966-1968. Still playing ( and living )in NYC. Would love to locate some people who I've lost touch with, Bob Carlisle, William Haas, Tom Salisbury, Norman Smith, a trumpet player, Joe from Kentucky. Will welcome and answer all responses. Don Hahn

Posted by Don Hahn at July 11, 2007 03:04 PM

Joe Newton is the trumpet player from Kentucky that both Jim Bond ( remember him? ) and I have been tryingf to locate. Don Hahn

Posted by Don Hahn at July 11, 2007 03:15 PM

Sorry folks, but I forgot to leave my E-mail address - it's ( This should be my last entry for awhile. Don Hahn

Posted by Don Hahn at July 11, 2007 03:20 PM

I was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth from April 1978 to February 1979. I was with the MP detachment from Ft. Hamilton. It was the best assignment of my Army carreer. I met my wife Nancy Dolliver there and we had a Military Weeding at the chapel there. We were married by Father Peters the post commander.My NCO in charge was a guy named SSgt. Craddock. Some of the guys I served with were David Schwartz, Barry Eppler,and Sean Mulkearns. Schwartz was on separate rations because the food in the mess hall was not kosher, and then the First Sgt. caught him eating bacon in the mess hall!! If anyone knows these men or where they are please e-mail me at

Posted by Greg Bonura at July 13, 2007 04:36 PM

I grew up in Stapleton, near Ft Wadsworth in the 50's and early60's. Used to play little league baseball games on the Fort. No Verrazano Bridge then.

Posted by jack giffin at July 17, 2007 01:59 AM

In late January 1953 I had just completed my eight weeks of basic training at Camp Rucker in Alabama and was scheduled to complete my advanced Army infantry training in 8 more weeks at Camp Rucker and be off to Korea. Our tranning officer took me aside and told me to pack up and be in the Company Street at o8oo the following day for transport to New York City. I in no way belived him and just smiled. The next day I was in the Company Street and shortly on a train northbound to New York. My orders were to report to the Headquarters of the 52 AAA Briigade. It was Sunday and I found the Officer of the Day. He had a Bunk Assigment and instructions to be at Sargeant Wydell's office at 0800 Monday morning. I was at his office before 0800 in Class A's. Within 20 minutes. Sargent Wydell explained that the 52nd Brigade had 3 Battalions of 120 MM guns and 7 Battalions of 90 MM guns and that all of them were for the defense of New York. I was to be part of that job and was an MOS 1510 in training to be a Master Gunner. It was two months before my secret classification came in. Meanwille I spent my time learning what we did and had a very nice office on the 4th floor of our office building looking out over the Narrows. There is much more to the story. The underground War Room. How we operated. The change over from guns to rockets, Finding sites for NIKES, If anyone was part of the 52 Brigade and would be interested in sharing recolections use my email address to get in touch. Thanks

Posted by John S. Overton at July 24, 2007 05:07 PM

Hi all.....what a find to see a site like this. I transfered with my company in 1995 to W.V. and I miss Staten Island sooo. I grew up in S.I. and spent a number of years in South Beach. when you live so close you have experiences galore. I can remember things that I cannot even relay on a website that I experience growing up in the early 1980's and going into the fort. Yes...Battery weed and also Fort Tompkins up on the hill....and Trish (forgot last name) who's father was the fort Chaplain. Oh boy. I especially enjoyed Battery weed and the stone walkway around the front on the waterside. To sit there with a friend and watch the freighters come in was awesome. I remember that there was a corridor that was in Fort Tompkins......Let's see........when you are facing it, there was 2 entrances ....the one to the would sneak in and immediately to your right you could go through a gate and this lead to a corridor that we called the 'cattacombs' reminded me of just a a long corridor where supplies or men were kept long I just sit here and think how it would be to get together in one big room with all of you . We all have our stories..........I hope to read more. Anyone who wants can email me , my name is Kenny
Take care

Posted by Ken Lemily at August 14, 2007 03:14 PM

Does anyone know an MP from Mass. named Butchie Lavec? He was stationed in Ft Wadsworth in 1980 give or take a year. I came to be friends with him.

Posted by Ken Lemily at August 14, 2007 03:20 PM

I too lived on Ft. Wadsworth while my father was stationed in the area. He was actually stationed in Bayonne, but we lived on the fort from 1992-1996 during the period when the Navy handed over control to the NPS and the Coast Guard. It was alive and so fun for the first two years and the second two years, the place was like a ghost town. We were the only people living on Mont Sec Ave. It was a bit creepy but amazing. We talked all of the time about how much the property was worth just because of the view at the end of the street. I spent much of my senior year taking pictures under the bridge and of the battery for my photography class at New Dorp. I don't miss Staten Island much, but we knew we were priviledged to be living in such historic residences in an area that we could never have afforded!

Posted by leslie Sloan at August 29, 2007 10:45 PM

Hi Leslie......well, I remember that Navy Resale center because I delivered there as an adult with fedex and it was strange to actually be on the fort grounds I was younger in South Beach, the beach 'entrance' we took was not so much's great you took pictures of the fort and Battery weed. Can you email any? If so, I would love to see them. You can email me at
I have been bookmarking any photos I find on the web..........I'm a little home sick.....I transferred with my company in 1995 and now live in West I would love to see anything you have if it's not much trouble.
Please email me either way. Thanks

Posted by ken lemily at August 30, 2007 01:06 PM

I came across this site by accident and cant wipe the smile off my face. I grew up in south beach and went to P.S.39 and I.S.49.That would be in the late 60's and early 70's. My name is Mark. I lived on McClean ave, by the firehouse. I cant tell you how much time I spent hanging out in the fort. After reading everyones comments, so many memories came back to me. Hanging out with Reiner, Edwin, Paul, Elio, James, Brian, Donna, Sharon, and so many others. I remember spending summer days swimming in the pool, or going to movies for 25 cents. I remember the bowling alley, and of course the bunkers and batteries. Does anyone remember the seven tunnels or the tire swing and the tree house? if I was to start to tell stories of half the stunts we used to pull or how many times we were chased by M.P's, I'd be writing for two days. It was fun to be a kid at that time. I guess thats why I still have a smile on my face. Whoever postedthose pictures, THANKS!!!

Posted by mark bells at September 7, 2007 11:35 AM

I found this really old post card of Fort Wadsworth from my god Mothers old pictures and stuff, not sure of the date. I was curious to see what was there now, so i searched the web and found this site, interesting. Tried to post the picture of post card but couldn't do it. She had friends there as a young girl. If any one wants to see post card send me an email.

Posted by Gary Mallay at September 9, 2007 02:19 AM

Jeez, with all the previous comments about Ft. Wadsworth and surrounds it all sounds like ancient history probably to some of the young folks posting here.
My time at Wadsworth began on Dec.6, 1960 thru 29 July 1962.
I was a specialist 4 working in the post Finance office on the second floor of the quadrangle just a short walk from the stairway.
Having started out in Accounting and including some other duties in disbursements(Payroll & travel) my entire time at the fort.
I too, have fond memories of being at Ft Wadsworth and also I ran the motion Picture camera at the Fort in a newly built Theater just a short walk from my barracks past the Post PX
After leaving Ft Wadsworth I became a member of the Army Security Agency and was sent to Northern Japan (Chitose Air Base) in Hokaido, near Sapporor, Japan
Believe it or not my tour there was basically very short since I rotated back to the States on June 10th l963 and was mustered out in Oakland, Calif.
How great can duty get; first NY City and then Northern Japan.

Posted by Jim Hankes at September 9, 2007 08:31 PM

I played the tuba in the 26th army band from'77-80.
Looking at the photos brings back allot of fond memories. Well, maybe more funny ones than fond!

Posted by henry sessler at October 4, 2007 06:09 PM

we are trying to locate clay smith who was stationed at fort wadsworth in the early 1960's.

Posted by millard at October 17, 2007 10:59 AM

I just visited Ft. Wadsworth today for the first time in my life. Gorgeous! we were shooting in Battery Weed for the History Channel, so keep an eye peeled and you may see images of some past memories.

For those who are interested in what the battery looks like, it's in fair shape from what i can tell. there are a lot of stalagtites dropping from the ceiling of the battery vaults, and many of the "windows" in the cannon stations have been bricked over, two cannons have been put on display for the guided tours, and yet it seems to me that little has changed otherwise.

the tiny rooms of utter darkness, which I assume were used to stockpile ammo and gunpowder, are eerie and seemed to me as if they are still holding some kind of energy. the slips remain and you can get slices of views of the narrows, the water churning just below the base of the battery, and overall a sense that it is a place of immense history, well worth preserving. a national treasure, if you ask me.

i was so moved by the experience of visiting battery weed and having the opportunity to spend an entire day there unsupervised, that i found this site and read all of your posts. as a native New Yorker, I have greatly enjoyed your nostalgic memoirs. thank you for enriching the history of this place.

this site should be part of the museum!!!

Posted by michael at October 31, 2007 08:33 PM

i lived on staten island 1962 thru 1965 and ft wadsworth was my life! i was there before and during the cloveleaf expressway and "the bridge" we didn't have to sneak on the base... we were dependents of a retired warrant officer, and we lived three blocks from the base. the gym with the basketball courts... the post pool... the px and snack bar... the movie theatre. the old post commisary was in one of those "old forts" that everyone is commenting on. they moved the new commisary out of the fort and into a larger building... i bagged groceries for tips there and it was one saturday i will never forget when one of the federal inspectors came to check the meat. it was none other than johnny unitas! there are other people who were there that day in 1964, maybe they were lucky enough not to have lost the autograph that several of us got from him. it was a nice post , i had a paper route on the base. i still remember the first four customers on my route, brown, roberts, galupe... if any of you read this.... i was your paperboy! i lived on fingerboard road right near thompkins ave. back behind me was a big coal yard (burnswell coal) i watched them build the bridge and i was living there when they cut the ribbon. like many of you ... i freaked when saturday nite fever featured that bridge! however... nobody knew the treasure that was under the other tower on the staten island side! it was ft wadsworth!

Posted by paul barton at November 5, 2007 11:22 PM

Wow! I was in the band in '66/'67 as a Bass Trombonist. I was processing out the day of the crash and was asked to be a "guest of the Army" for several days to perform a memorial service in the Chapel. Jay Blaine, I, and two other trombonists did the Beethoven Drei Equali during the service. The trumpet section in the "Manhattans" included Don,Norm,John and Carmine. Tight section. The Bones were Jay,Me Dave Condit and Sgt Edwards.Rhythm section: Danny Dimperio, Lanny Fields Bob Schwartz and Mike Garson. I can only remember Sgt Matarazzo in the sax section. It seems to me from the number of responses from that era here thet there was something good going on back then on post. Hello to all that have posted here I remember each of you. 40 years later the names keep coming back to remind us of the fun but fearful times that we shared.

for auld lang syne

Hugh Liverman

Posted by Hubert Liverman at December 31, 2007 03:01 PM

Well 40 years has had some effect on my memory,I now think the name was Metropolitans. No matter the name there were some very good players at the fort then in all capacities and instruments.


Posted by hubert liverman at December 31, 2007 03:15 PM

This year marks 46 years(July 29,1962) since I left Fort Wadsworth having been reassigned to
The "Pacific Command, Army Security Agency" specifically to Hokaido, Japan-Chitose Air Base, approx 20 kilometers from Sapporo-the capital of this northern Island in Japan.
Leaving Fort Wadsworth which I spent approx19-20 months at and working as a specialist in the Fort Finance Office.
Basically, the transfer was at my request since my time in service was running out. I was due to complete my three year tour in Jun-Jul 1963 and I was concerned that I had not "seen the world" which was my goal upon entering service.
Of my time in service, being at Fort Wadsworth was worth every minute, I thoroughly enjoyed it and in particular the time off base heading over to Manhattan and Long Island City(Queens) where my lovely girlfrien-fiance lived. Her name was Carmela Caruso and she was the love of my life.
For this reason alone I was sad to leave for the Far East, however I had wonderlust and I thought it would only be for a short time when I could rejoin Carmela and we could settle down to a great life together.
It wasn't to be and I made the call and informed Carmela that my plans had changed and I would not be coming back out to NYC. I wished her well and hoped only for the best for her and her family for the future.
Should anyone read this missive and know of that beautiful young lady I would appreciate hearing from her, just to say Hi and see how good life has been to her.
I mean when I met this beautiful young girl I guess you would say "like in the Godfather movie" a lightning bolt hit me and I fell madly in love with her.
After all these years I still mis her and the wonderful time we shared together there in N.Y.
Please let me know if you have knowledge of her.
She would now be approx 64-65 years old and still as beautiful as I remember her. Thank You!

Posted by Jim Hankes at January 4, 2008 04:22 PM

Born on the other side of the narrows, Shore Road Memorial, grew up in Midland Beach, remember "raiding" Wadsworth after "storming" from the beach as a kid in the 70's. Musta run into some of you MB's(brats) as well as the MP's you ran from.

Wound up serving in both 242nd and then the 24th when they deactivated. Was USAR 89-95.

Have any other visitos, since Jan of last year, noticed that the main site has not been updated since Dec 06?

Historically preservable memories of Servicemen's and civilians time at Ft Wadsworth are being made here. I wonder how much longer this site will last.

Posted by bob at February 6, 2008 12:28 PM

Forgot to mention, for Jim, there was a gorgeous French teacher at New Dorp HS named Miss Caruso in the 70's and 80's. She lived down the street from Wadsworth, right off McClean Ave if not right on it.

Posted by bob at February 6, 2008 12:34 PM

I was assigned to the Cableship Ellery W. Niles a 186 ft converted mineplanter that was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth. This was from 1953-55. Our main dockage was at Ft. Jay, Governers Is. My mos was 1080 marine diesel repairman. We sailed the east coast down to Charlston SC and north to Portland Mn. But mostly stayed at Gov. Is. Civilians on board repaired under water communication cables.
I was US Army Signal but we were called sailgers.

Todays Palm Beach Post had an article re Nascars 53 year span since a foreign car won a race. While drydocked in Newark we attended a Nascar race in Linden Nj. to see a Jaguar win on June 13, 1954.

The Niles is now a divers delight at the bottom of the ocean off Key West.

This tour was a soldiers dream.

Posted by Harold Hopkins at March 13, 2008 10:47 AM

I am a native Staten Islander. The postings bring back so many memories. There were several postings about AAA and Nike Sites. I am cutrious to know if anyone remembers where the AAA and Nike sites were on Staten Island. I recall AAA sites at Fort Wadsworth, Bulls Head, Fox Hills and Miller Field (down near the beach). I also recall Nike sites at Ft Wadsworth and Miller Field. If anyone recalls plesae let me know.

Richard Johnsen

Posted by Richard at March 18, 2008 04:32 PM

I am so happy to see so many old Fort Wadsworth folks out there! I remember so much of my teenage days and hanging out with such a great gang of kids! I left in 1972 when I joined the Navy.. ended up buying the house i grew up in just outside the "Back Gate" on McClean ave. Sold it and moved to NJ where I am still living today. God I miss those days and the old gang. Anyone remember me.. drop a line!

Posted by Tom Murasky at March 18, 2008 08:14 PM

I am a native Staten Islander. The postings bring back so many memories. There were several postings about AAA and Nike Sites. I am cutrious to know if anyone remembers where the AAA and Nike sites were on Staten Island. I recall AAA sites at Fort Wadsworth, Bulls Head, Fox Hills and Miller Field (down near the beach). I also recall Nike sites at Ft Wadsworth and Miller Field. If anyone recalls plesae let me know.

Richard Johnsen

Posted by Richard Johnsen at March 19, 2008 08:54 AM

Being my third or fourth posting regarding My time
At Fort Wadsworth. I was sent to Fort Wadsworth from the US Army Finance School at Fort Ben Harrison in Indianapolis where I trained in accounting and disbursements*Payroll & travel and I arrived ther at approx December 7thor 8th of 1960.
A couple days after my arrival I was working in the Post Finance Office up on the second tier of the Quadrangle when all of a sudden I heard what sounded like a loudexplosion above the Narrows. Upon further investigation I heard on the news that a Jetliner and a prop-jet had collied over the narrows, with the jet crashing down in Brooklyn and the prop-jet crashing down in Miller Army airfield.
An all out alert was issued an people from Ft. Wadsworth were placed on clean-up duty the rest of the day at Miller and through the night picking up debris and human parts of all kinds and bringing them together for learning just what happened in this terrific crash which claimed many lives on both planes. People were blown to bits and or burned t9o death and just lying all around like so much other debris. Mattress bags served as body collection bags and with all the dignity we could muster up the remains were brought up to a house porch to be examined by by forensic specialist to determine how people has=d died that night.
Thsi was my baptism of fire and reality check their on Staten Island. It was a sobering experiencing to be sure.

Posted by Jim Hankes at March 22, 2008 05:12 PM

Unbelievable! The best 8 weeks of my young life were spent here. I was stationed at USACHS from late 1975 after basic in Fort Ord CA. Imagine a 17 year old kid, loose in NY and free to experience all that was available. At that time, the women's barracks were still on Hamilton and they had to be bused over every morning. We'd all meet in the front of the men's barracks and march our way to the Quad. I still remember that fondly. Thanks for the memories.

Posted by Tom Benningfield at April 1, 2008 02:31 PM

I lived at wadsworth from july 79 to january 80. we were one of the last army families there before the chaplain school moved to monmouth. we lived at 101b mont sec(what a house). my brother's name was eric and our friends were tim Hughees, dave Schmidt, Roger davidson.

Posted by merle dech at April 7, 2008 09:43 PM

I was stationed in Staten Island from Oct 1955 to Nov.1956 (B Battery, 12th Bn.52d Brig. AAA), and was attached to the Medical Corps at Ft. Wadsworth from Oct. 1956 to Dec. 1956. During my assignment at Wadsworth, I bunked in the miitary police dorm and trained under the doctors and medical corps personnel.

Posted by Richard Patterson at April 15, 2008 04:08 PM

hi...I saw a history channel episode in which they think and showed what was a tunnel under the water between Ft Totten and ft Schylur. The batteries like battery weed are close in design and age. Do any of you think there was a tunnel linking ft hamilton and ft wadsworth? I played there as a kid and knew the fort better than the MP's.........if there was one anywhere, it would have been in battery weed for sure. The one they showed on the history channel was deep and ran from ft totten toward the water. It was narrow and certainly was made with access only in mind. It was deep and straight and the host of the show
got to a point where the mud and water was deep. it finally came to a point where it was collapsed. so it appeared clearly that it was meant to go out into the water(under) and away from the battery at ft totten. i have seen a few sealed up areas in battery weed so who really knows when, let's say 1900, that som Colonel ordered it sealed for safety. possible........maybe..........i knew i would always take my friends jimmy jimenez etc and we would take our girlfriends inwhat was called the 'cattacombs'........up in ft tompkins on the hill above battery weed. in the gate to the right when facing ft tompkins, you enter and as soon as you do, you turn and go to the right. there is a tunnel / hallway that must have housed men and supplies years ago. great place. spooky for the girls..but great for the guys.
p..s... any thoughts on the tunnel under the narrows, please post

Posted by ken at April 18, 2008 03:48 PM

Bob who posted on 06 Feb 2008 made a good point. If the main site has gone dormant, we might come to this site some day and find nothing here. That would be a shame for all us members of what seems to have become the "Fort Wadsworth Memorial Club." I'm not technologically proficient enough to think up a fix. Anyone have any ideas on how to migrate all this to somewhere else more permanent? It's been going on now for almost five years. Best wishes to you all.

Posted by Jack Lichtenstein at April 29, 2008 10:00 PM

I read the postings and I was compelled to post my own. No other postings have quite the experience I had when I was living with my parents from 90-95. I was moved from Colorado to New York in my senior year of High School. Even though my Dad was in the Army and working out of Newark we lived on Ft.Wadsworth. My memories are of lost friendships and some very good times. I can say i explored every inch of the Fort. Even had a chance to sneak into the old Fort structures. I spent many evenings on the pier that had a clear view of Ft.Hamilton. What a beautiful place.

Posted by Jake Simon at May 6, 2008 08:12 AM

Wow, brought back memories !!! 26th Band member from 75 thru 78. What a gas !! Does anybody remember the b flat place !!! If you do you were there with me !! Marched WAY too many parades...I never marched after that !!!

Jack Naus - Living in Wisconsin now !

Posted by Jack Naus at May 11, 2008 12:57 PM

So I wonder if they ever found the time capsule we hid in the basement wall ??? Hank would be proud !!

Posted by Jack Naus at May 11, 2008 12:59 PM

Hello Everyone,

As a veteran who had the priviledge to serve at Fort Wadsworth in the late sixties, I'm celebrating my 40th anniversary of my discharge from the Army by returning to NYC and Fort Wadsworth the last week in May. To be exact, May 27 to June 1. Although, I made a trip to NYC in 1991, I could not enter the the Fort at that time because the Navy or CG controlled it. This time I'm certain I will see the Fort; the place I worked, Fort Tompkins; sit on the wall overlooking the Narrows and the NY skyline, walk the streets and relive my youth alittle, and remember the buddies I served with - wishing they were here with me again. A great group of young guys, some married, some single from all corners of the country serving together at a unique location in a great City. We surely had some good times that greatly improved our time in the Army. Since many of my buddies were discharged around the latter months of 1968, I wish all of you a happy 40th anniversary of your discharge. If any of you read this, drop me a line; I would be happy to hear from you.

Dave Pfefferkorn

Posted by D. Pfefferkorn at May 11, 2008 04:13 PM

i want to know how much do i need to pay to take a Ranger-led tour. please write back or message me to my e-mail address.

thanks a lot!

Posted by Joker 69 at June 1, 2008 10:15 PM

I lived in South Beach and me and the boys used to walk along the beach until we got to the Fort and then sneak in through a hole in the fence. We must have been about 14-15 at the time. We would play manhunt for hours and hours always watchful of the MP's. A few of the boys got caught on a few occasions. They told us the MP's had rubber bullets but I never saw that first hand. It just added to the mystery & adventure. We found lots of tunnels but we never came across the elusive one that connected Ft. Hamilton. Great memories!

Posted by DanO66 at July 21, 2008 10:27 AM

I grew up in Midland Beach and as a child we all use to sneak in Miller field and play manhunt in the old abandoned army hospital. We were cuaght once by the MP's and brought home, this however did not stop us from going back time and time again. When we were adventurous we would walk the beach to fort wadsworth and sneak in there.

Posted by Kat at July 23, 2008 12:20 PM

What a great site to stumble upon. My Dad was stationed in Kirchgoens,Germany in the late 60's, when he retired we travelled back to the states via Fort Wadsworth.

My family is planning a trip to New York City next year and it made me think about where we stayed on our return from Germany. Both of my parents are now gone and my sisters and I were under 10, so I wasn't sure if this was where we stayed or not. I was sure it was near the Verezanno Bridge and on Staten Island, but didn't know for certain. Until now!

Thanks for the wonderful information about this special stop on my way home at such a young age. It's hard to believe it will be 40 years since that trip. This will definately be part of our itinerary when we visit NYC!

Posted by Lisa432 at July 28, 2008 08:14 PM

I was stationed at Wadsworth in early 1953 and left in early 1954. I was a fresh private from basic training at Fort Rucker AL. I was in heaven in the 3 section of Headqurter of the 52nd AAA Brigade. We controled 3 bateries of 110mm guns and 7 bateries of 90 mm guns. I see no posts for that time.
We Had a Blast proof Operation war room and cryto center located a long way under the old fort. There may not be any one that can remember the War Room. I was very young and very inpressed. I would like to hear from anyone that can remember. I am trying to put it to paper. . For Many years I could not talk about what we did. I think it was declasified in the 70ies. It was probably the most exciting thing I ever did.
The people the place the real resposibility.
I was assiged to assist two officers in the selection of the very first Nike Sites in the summer of 1993. It was very historic
A book and movey badly portrayed what we did. I think it should be part of the historic record of Fort Wadsworth.

To get in the War Room the guard had tohavw some one vouch for you that he new was cleared. The cripto room was guarded by a man with an M2 Carbine. when we went to an exersise of orange we åll played the game as if it were real.

There were others in our unit. A one section, a two section,
and a four section. I waß only about 60 miles from where I grew up in suburban Philadelphia. The five cent ferry ride to Manhatten. The South Beach Boardwalk If anyone was there in 1953 or 54 or near that time, please send me an email.

Posted by JOHN S. OVERTON at August 1, 2008 07:35 PM

Kudos to Jack Naus and Mike Moyer. I was also a bone player in the 26th from 75-78. Yes, I still remember the Bb place and the secret treasure.I marched parades until I retired in 1993. I now march to a different drummer with the Fed Govt but I still play. Good to hear from old dogs and wishing you all well. keep in touch!!!

Posted by Stan Skinner at August 4, 2008 12:27 PM

Did you know that in 1913 president Tahft was at the fort? He was there to break ground for a statue to honor the Native Americans.

Posted by Margie at August 8, 2008 02:13 PM

My name is Charlene, my brother John and I lived at 114 Mont Sec Ave 1981-84 and attended New Dorp. The Burlesons were my 'attached' neighbor. Others families included Montieth, Mayo, Lord, Caracado, Flake, Evens, Sherman, can't remember all the names. Any of you guys out there? Are the houses still there? We used to explore the old forts and fish under the bridge; like living on the set of 'Little House on the Prarie' in the midst of the city. Great memories!

Posted by Charlene at August 21, 2008 02:03 PM

Ken, there was never a tunnel between Forts Totten and Schuyler. I worked with the History Channel on that episode, and told them repeatedly that there was never a tunnel.

First, the technology of the era was inadequte to build such a tunnel. At its deepest point between the forts, the Sound is over 120 feet deep.

Why would they build a tunnel, when the fort itself was incomplete?

The "tunnel" they showed in the program was completely inadequate for the purpose they described anyway.

In order to allow "horses and equipment" to travel through the tunnel, it would have been MUCH bigger than what they showed.

Such a tunnel would have to ramp down to its deepest point, which means the tunnel would have had to start somewhere WAY back in the fort, not at the waterfront.

The park ranger who gave the tour was clueless, and a lot of false information was given in the episode.

Posted by Rick at September 2, 2008 02:07 PM

I should add that I grew up on Fort Totten from 1965 to 1981. I've been inside evry building, and inside every space in the Old Fort. Details are on the web site.

Posted by Rick at September 2, 2008 02:09 PM

I was stationed at the fort from 1954-1956. I was assigned to the medical dispensary as a medical records clerk. It was a great time in my life. I loved New York, all the plays, ball games, professional fights, and other events. We had some great doctors and dentists. Same guys on sick call every week. My favorite commanding officer was Major Scoles.
Bob McKerr

Posted by Bob McKerr at September 7, 2008 01:44 PM

Great site! My dad was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth in the late 1940's, before he met my mom. I'm trying to I.D. some photos I have from that period, which may have been taken at Wadsworth. Does anyone who's posted to this site know if there was some sort of large geological formation in the area on which people would write graffiti? I have photos of my dad (with lots of pretty girls in bathing suits!) sitting on a rocky/shale-like inclined hill, on which TONS of inscriptions are painted, etc. Some inscriptions look military in nature (units numbers, etc.) If anyone has ANY idea what or where this site is, please post! Thanks!

Posted by Sandy Fowler at November 8, 2008 10:26 AM

I transferred from Ft.Tilden to Wadsworth in 1957 and discharged (from Hamilton) in 1/59. Good duty for a guy from Philly, played football & basketball, a lot of TDY over 1st Army area. Worked in S-3 section 52nd Brgd. easy get home with a 3 day pass. No Verrazano, Staten Island Ferry, 5 cents, 7th Ave express to Penn Station,
$2.75 round trip to N.Phila sta. if wearing uniform when you bought ticket. It wasn't worth bringing my car up until the last couple of weeks. Brig.Gen.Duff commander, Major James Ray was my boss in S-3. Went back to see him a few months later and got a speeding ticket from a old M.P. friend. Good memories.

Posted by Ed Carr at November 25, 2008 11:29 PM

I am looking for any and all information about the 999th Signal Company Support

Posted by William ( Bill ) Beymer at November 29, 2008 11:00 AM

I too was privileged to be a brat who's father was stationed at Ft. Wadsworth. We were only there for the first half of '79 but the memories I have of the bridge, the old batteries and hanging out at the swimming pool will be with me forever. I was a junior at Curtis H.S. (my brother Mike was a freshman) but spent much of that time cutting class, hopping the ferry and wandering around Manhattan.
Oh for those simpler days of years gone by...

Posted by Martin Norris at December 10, 2008 06:39 AM

Found a few old pictures. If you recognize yourself or someone else, feel free to contact me at heymartin (at)

Posted by Martin Norris at December 10, 2008 06:43 AM

Posted by Martin Norris at December 10, 2008 06:54 AM

My Dad, Neil Mann was assigned to the armory from 1952-1954. I believe his job was to repair rifles. We lived at the trailer park, 5 of use in a 30ft trailer, no bathroom, just a pot that we carried 2 blocks to empty.
One day my brother, Neil, our friend Jackie Korrika (sp) and I deciced to roast some hot dogs and accidently set the surrounding field on fire. The bad thing was it was across from the amo. dump. I never admitted that we had done it because as kids we knew that if we admitted it my Dad would have gotten in trouble.
My fondest memory of the Fort was the "Elephant Tree" which was a huge oak tree with an anchor rope attached to one of the branches. We would climb up the tree, someone on the ground would toss the rope up to us, we would grab hold, jump off, wrap our legs around the rope and sit on the knot tied at the bottom. It seemed as though you would glide through the air forever.
My brother was there in 2001 and said the tree was still there, I would love to see a picture of it if any one has one.
The other fond memory I have was helping Dot Degonya the libririan at the time, it was my first job(unpaid), as it turned out I did work at a library for 11 yrs, in MN.

Posted by ginger mann heinzen at December 23, 2008 12:54 AM

I was an AIT student beginning March 1975 living at Ft Hamilton and attending classses (71M) at Ft Wadsworth. After graduation I became an insturctor there. Anyone have info on Mary Holland, Denise Welch, Kristopher Shaw or Jonathan Erwin please contact me.
Happy New Year 2009 to all! Sonnie Rodenburg

Posted by Sonnie (Vargas) Clarkson at January 16, 2009 01:31 PM

To former 1st/26th Army Band members.... I saw a bunch of posts wondering what happened to the band. Base re-alignment and closure ended the stay of the Band in NYC September 15th, 1994. We rolled the guidon on the parade field at noon that day and all bandsmen were assigned to other active bands. I was stationed there from 1989-94 and loved every minute of it, even though I was from New Hampshire and a die hard Red Sox fan. The band building on Fort Hamilton was located behind the medical clinic and overlooked the VA and Fort Hamilton Parkway. Interesting to see names we found in old historical photos and files.

Posted by SFC Paul Baker at February 5, 2009 12:23 PM

What a great site to find. My brother Eric and I also lived on Montsec in the early eighties. I also remember the Mayo's, Christy, Cammy, Eric Montieth, Rhett, Lurch, and all the others. What a wonderful place to grow up. I am glad to see others share such fond memories, too.

Posted by Theresa (Hunn) Yeck at February 8, 2009 02:20 AM

How about reversing the order of the posts so we don't have to scroll thru 5 years to get the most recent ones? Put the most recent at the top. Thanks

Posted by bob fickes at February 12, 2009 08:17 PM

Hey Bob, why don't you scroll down and work back up???

Posted by Joe M. at February 14, 2009 10:24 AM

Hello all! I was a drummer in the 26th for 3 years, 1968-1971 during all the tumultuous anti-war times on the base as well. Served under both Shettle and Flores. It was like night and day. Col De Maria was there also and though he was tough, he loved the enlisted men, in particular a sp/4 Carl R. Comstock from Louisville Kentucky. I could write a book. Glad I stumbled on this site. Steve Harp Fredonia, New York

Posted by steve Harp at March 11, 2009 10:23 AM

I was stationed at Wadsworth for the summer of '56. 999 Signal Company (Support). I was a radio operator - that is why I worked in the motor pool (across from the trailer park) as a truck mechanic.

Saw the Stockholm with a big chunk out of its bow come through the Narrows the morning after sinking the Andrea Dora.

In the fall of 1956 I was reassigned to the Army Security Agency in Europe.


Posted by Jack Kelly at April 29, 2009 12:18 PM

I was stationed at Wadsworth for the summer of '56. 999 Signal Company (Support). I was a radio operator - that is why I worked in the motor pool (across from the trailer park) as a truck mechanic.

Saw the Stockholm with a big chunk out of its bow come through the Narrows the morning after sinking the Andrea Dora.

In the fall of 1956 I was reassigned to the Army Security Agency in Europe.


Posted by Jack Kelly at April 29, 2009 12:18 PM

I've been reading these posts with interest. My father was in the 1st Army Band between 1967 and 1971. His name is Robert Carlisle, and he played (still plays) the trumpet. He always talks about how he wishes he had stayed in contact with his fellow band members through the years. I grew up with stories about the Cardinal Spellman band and marching in the parades in New York City, as well as some of the grimmer tasks associated with being a trumpet player or soldier at that time (taps, body details...). It has been cool to see people from the same time period talking about the same things. My younger brother actually did a documentary for his film class about the time my dad spent in the Army Band, and I can't help but think that having some of you guys contribute your memories would have made it even better. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories here!

Sarah C.

Posted by Sarah C. at May 26, 2009 05:04 PM

The Jack Kelly post above reminded me that I watched the aircraft carrier USS Wasp come home from the Azores after colliding with the Hobson in 1952 - it, too, had a large hole in it's bow as it came through the narrows. I was just a kid, but I still remember how huge it looked as it slowly made its way...

Posted by Jeff Holmes at June 20, 2009 08:54 PM

I'm trying to get in touch with Hugh Liverman who has posted a message on this site and whose e-mail address doesn't come up. If any of you have any information as to how he can be reached I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thanks.


Posted by Forrest Jennings at June 25, 2009 12:07 PM

In regard to the above posting, my e-mail address is Thanks.


Posted by Forrest Jennings at June 25, 2009 12:11 PM

I was a fresh Southern boy from Alabama when I came to the fightn' 26th in the summer of '69. Boy, was this an experience. I played french horn. I was not a bad player, but this duty station was an initiation into the REAL music world of New York. It was during this time of the anti-war protest, and for a rather conservative Southern boy, whose ancestor had fought at Gettysberg with the 17th Alabama Regiment, a real shock. I remember not being gladly received at first. Later learning that this unfriendlyness was due to the suspension that I was an undercover CID agent. Also, being from the South, I was to them, obviously, a racist. The names I remember most were Vern Windham, Paul Dix, Richard Russo, Sgt Stull, Mike Lumetta and Marty the gay guy. Duty was not all that bad, except after the wives' anti-war demostrations on Staten Island. I will always remember the blond chick, Sherly, at the Service Club. Artie Shuttle was on his way out and we got an ultra-uptight Flores as CO. That's when things changed. I remember the day Flores discovered we had our patches glued on our class A's. We had to have them sewn on and spit-polish the brims of our hats. I am now living in Italy, work on the US base in Vicenza and married to a wonderful girl from Ghana, so much for racism. I welcome any e-mails from people in the band then.

Posted by Thomas Bankston at June 26, 2009 11:57 AM

Good to hear from you after all of these years, Spec. Harp. Remember me? I played alto saxophone in the band from !969 to 1971. I remember Shettle, Flores, Willy, Dino, Qwat, Quist any many, many more. Peace to all of the crabs.

Posted by Jim Miller at August 20, 2009 07:51 PM

Good to hear from you after all of these years, Spec. Harp. Remember me? I played alto saxophone in the band from !969 to 1971. I remember Shettle, Flores, Willy, Dino, Qwat, Quist any many, many more. Peace to all of the crabs.

Posted by Jim Miller at August 20, 2009 07:51 PM

my email address is

Posted by Jim Miller at August 20, 2009 07:55 PM

does anyone remember the por sole the killed himself on the gun range at ftord in 1967 that broke my heart. he could had a beutiful life do you you remember his name i cant remember it please let me know

Posted by bobbie myers at August 24, 2009 02:03 PM bobbie myers if you remember the name

Posted by bobbie myers at August 24, 2009 02:05 PM

Hello Folks,
I stumbled across this site while searching for old friends. I was stationed at Wadsworth from Oct. 1966 to July 1968 as an MP. I remember running you kids out of the old bunkers. What I hated most about that was I always managed to scuff up my "spit-shined" boots and get spider webs all over my uniform.
Does anyone remember the names of any of the MP's during that time? I can only remember their last names. There was one fellow in particular that I would love to hear from. His last name was Lux. He got orders to Nam in the summer of 1967 and I haven't been able to find any info on him since.
My name is David Parker, if my memory is correct there was also a David Parker that was in the band that was accidently killed on Staten Island. Does any of this jog memories?

Posted by David Parker at October 3, 2009 11:06 AM

Yes I remember you Steven Harp, Tom Bankston and Jim Miller and many others as well as all of the crazy things that happened during that time. I was in the band from 69 to 71 (flute/sax)then received orders to Vietnam, reported to Oakland and then diverted to Germany. Good to hear from you all.

Posted by Roger Brooks at October 15, 2009 04:11 PM

It is great to hear from you! I went to Germany also, Nurnberg to be exact. It was a pretty lame band but Europe was wonderful. Those were the days my friend. It certainly seemed like they would NEVER end, but eventually we were short. I have thought of you on occasion over the years. I well remember your "slow" walk to your room in the barracks at night. Do you still live in the New York area? I regularly keep in touch with Harold Danko. He's chairman of Jazz studies at Eastman. Send me an e-mail.

Posted by Jim Miller at November 5, 2009 01:29 AM

my father,same name,was stationed at fort wadsworth in 1952.our family lived in a multi level barracks looking facility i think on the southern end of base.i do recall one day running over to the beach which was rather close to our home in time to see the u.s.s.UNITED STATES passing in the distance on her maiden voyage.does anyone have any photos of the base during this time? it was a lot of fun for a philly kid!

Posted by ernest bottomer at November 7, 2009 01:24 PM

Former 999th Signal Service Company T/5 at Radio Paris. Landed on Utah Beach June 6

Posted by Robert Knight at February 22, 2010 02:58 PM

i been there in the prison or dungeon

Posted by Tommy chan at February 25, 2010 05:23 PM

Was happy to find this site as I lived at Fort Wadsworth from about 1945-1950 when my dad was sent to Korea. I was 7-12 years old at the time. my dad was M Sgt Edwin C. Duckett he was the NCOIC of the film library. I was just a boy then and did spend a great amount of time roaming over the fort and getting into all sorts of trouble. Most of the problems I had was with the officers kids, as the underdog having to fight my way to establish my place in the pecking order.

I remember attending PS 39 and 49 but cant remember the others we army brats attended.

We lived in the King House on the top floor where my sister had the bedroom on the 4th story.

I remember the house well as my dad and I would fire the big boiler that heated the house.

I'm currently writing my story and telling about my time living at Fort Wadsworth. Any one wishing to have a copy of my adventures while there send a request to and I will post you a copy of that section of my story.

Would love to hear from any one that lived in the King House.

Posted by Georg E Duckett at March 3, 2010 02:21 AM

I am coming there to Ft. Wadsworth in June 2010 with Sue Andrews, Garry Lewry and John Rideout, anyone know us, write me or find me on face book

Posted by mark e. williams at March 7, 2010 10:25 AM

I was in the band for two years starting in January of 1967. I was the singer announcer for the band. I remember a great night singing at the Goldman Band Shell in Central Park. Lots of 5th ave parades. They gave me a Selmer mark 6 to carry. I remember one of the many fine musicians telling me that Charley Parker never owned such a fine instument. I remember that fateful day on the way to Temple U. when 2 of our guys burned to death in that crash. I remember Sgt. Sturgess crying his wonderful eyes out. I remember singing the 23rd psalm at the chapel service for them. Dino Karjenakis (sp) accompanied me.
I remember one hell of a lot of fine musicians including Louie Soloff (blood sweat and tears) joining us for his reserve duty. I'll always thank Mr. Shettle for casting me as his singer/announcer. I loved Col. De. He always asked me to sing Hey Look Me Over. It was from a broadway show sung by Lucille Ball. Every time he saw me he'd put his hand on my shoulder. God rest his soul. I remember so many great musicians. I am sure most of them made livings playing music. I performed in NY for 10 years after I got out. My twin brother is still on Broadway. He just finished doing the Philharmonic hall concert to honor Stephen Sondheims 80th birthday. Lynn Claughton, thank you for your kind words to me! I've never forgotten. Lets keep in touch. Twait I remember you. Please send me best to everyone.
Larry Beckler

Posted by Larry Beckler at April 1, 2010 11:55 PM

I was there in 1972 going to Chaplains Asst school in the Army. Loved that old fort and spent a lot of time exploring there. Intresting this was buit in 1776 and just a few years ago I found out my 6th removed great grandfather is Francis Lewis one of the 56 signers of the Declartion of Indpendence. To think that he probably also saw this fort during that time just adds to it's meaning to me.

Posted by dave oakley at April 23, 2010 10:49 PM

I was there in 1972 going to Chaplains Asst school in the Army. Loved that old fort and spent a lot of time exploring there. Intresting this was buit in 1776 and just a few years ago I found out my 6th removed great grandfather is Francis Lewis one of the 56 signers of the Declartion of Indpendence. To think that he probably also saw this fort during that time just adds to it's meaning to me.

Posted by dave oakley at April 23, 2010 10:49 PM

wow this is awsome bumping in to this site. my dad was with the 258th in kingsbige armory in the bronx and we lived in fort wadsworth i beleve 1978 to late 80s i rember a few names billy hill and his bro tommy he was in to ninga stuff vinny skeeter.i also remeber my frend black mike fight this guy on the beach and then he got jumped by a gang called sikkes it was a all white gang.and the MP never help us.also we take out cardboerd boxes out and breakdance. i think my add was 433 lasher roud i think.also won day a bunch of us went in the old fort and stood in the tower for hrs

Posted by victor manny rodriguez at April 30, 2010 08:12 PM

my bad i meant ninja stuff sorry

Posted by victor m rodriguez at April 30, 2010 09:35 PM

Larry Beckler,
I don't know if you remember me or not, but I still play in NYC ( ) on the 2nd & 3rd Tuesday of evey month with my jazz group. Fat Cat is on 7th Ave & Christopher St in Manhattan. Are you still in NYC - would love to see you if you are. Don Hahn(

Posted by Don Hahn at May 5, 2010 05:49 PM

I spent two years with the 26th First Army Band at Ft. Wadsworth spanning a time period ending in April 1971.There were two commanding officers of the band during my stay with the band. One was CWO Arthur Shettle and the other was CWO Patrick Flores. I played sax and clarinet and recall that there were so many great musicians in that band. It was an honor to be able to perform with such excellent players. Many of them went on to fine careers in music. The old fort structure always interested me and I enjoyed the photos posted here. I recall going there to obtain new uniform clothes. Neat old building.

Posted by Rich Casey at May 24, 2010 07:14 AM

My father, Lieutenant William C. Franz, was station at Fort Wadsworth from 1963 to 1965 and was responsible for setting up the museum, under the direction of Major General Thomas R. Yancey, who was commanding II Corps at the time. Amo g other things they tried to get into the mysterious rooms added to the west side of Battery Weed long after its construction -- rooms that were shielded by several feet of granite and the purpose and even existence of which show up nowhere in Army records. They nbever did get in. He was also Public Information Officer for the post in addition to serving on Yancey's staff (Yancey had him transferred from 1st Army to II Corps to make him g-1 and assistant G-2, unusual for a 1st Lieutenant). He also discovered and published the plans (for which ground had been broken before WW I) for a national monument to the American Indian -- a plan President Taft had endorsed to put a statue larger than the Statue of Liberty where Fort Tompkins is. I was born while he was at the post, at the USPHS hospital near the base, and Captain Wilmot Powell was my godfather.

Posted by cwf at August 7, 2010 03:41 AM

Since my first post here, I have found a lot of my Ft. Wadsworth (1978-1979) friends either on the phone, email or Facebook.
I have found Todd Kramer, Carolyn Kramer, Ann Kramer, Guiia Jolin, Asiah Hudson, Lee Mallard, Pete Savely, Mike Savely, Martin Norris. This site really helped (and so has Facebook).
I still would like to find Michelle Parker and Brenda Peterson and Burt and Stitch.

Posted by Tom Hines at August 17, 2010 12:07 PM

I lived on Wadsworth too. I remember the break dancing Victor! I'm still in touch with a few. The Fort and South Beach sure has changed!

Posted by Wadsworthgirl at October 15, 2010 05:37 PM

On returning from Korea, I was a supply sgt with hqs co of the 52nd AAA Bde from Feb 52 to Feb 53. A wonderful post with a very pastoral Staten Island. Went often to the city on the ferry and enjoyed the Italian mom and pop places just off post where a soldier could have a wonderful Italian sandwich and a cold drink. If he was a regular, he could sit in their little garden behind the store. Used to hitchhike to Maine. The Irish cops would stop a Mass or Conn car on the West Side Drive and ask them to take me alone. Those were the good old days. Pleased to learn I can return there as it is now a park. I returned to active duty in 1961 after attending college and enjoyed many years in Germany before retiring at Fort Drum New York where I now live just outside the gate to the Fort.

Posted by col bill littlefield at October 28, 2010 09:42 PM

After graduating the School of Music at the Naval Amphib Base in Little Creek, Va, I went to the 26th Army Band at Ft. Wadsworth. I lived on Ft. Hamilton and crossed the V Narrows bridge every day to get to Wadsworth. I played trumpet and was stationed at Wadsworth from Dec.of 68 until Nov. of 69, when I was reassigned to the Honor Guard Unit on Hamilton, which was moved to Ft. Totten in Bayside. From Totten, we travelled each day on the LIE to Farmingdale and the VA Nat'l cemetery. Have some very fond memories of Ft. Wadsworth and the quadrangle. E-mail me if we were at Wadsworth the same time.

Posted by Richard Saltz at November 7, 2010 12:26 AM

I moved to fort wadsworth in 1983 and moved 1995. and then moved back in 1997 and i'm still here. I lived at 222h pershin drive. I would love to talk to some of my old friends or some of my brothers old friends.. I'm looking forward to catching up.

Posted by Nicole Ziegeler at November 16, 2010 03:08 PM

I was a member of the 26th Army Band from July 75 to May 76. Played trombone. I transferred in when the 323rd AB at Ft Sam was deactivated. had a great time the 10 months I was there. Was happy to find Bill & Vivian Oaks and Mike Moyer here.

I used to hang out with another trombonist, Dan Canterbury, when I was here. If anyone has his contact info, please let me know.

What a great site. Reading all the posts really brings back old memories. In fact, I'm in NYC right now, as we are visiting our daughter who lives here. My wife and I are heading to Ft Hamilton today. Think I'll go over and see if Wadsworth is open. Would be too cool to look around.

Jerry Walker

Posted by Jerry Walker at November 27, 2010 08:51 AM

I was with the 563rd Military Police Company, Fort Hamilton, Fort Wadsworth, and Fort Totten, from Oct 1975 to June 1979. Anyone stationed during those times please contact me.

Posted by Vincent Rogers at January 5, 2011 02:14 PM

WOW!!!!!!!! its me rob jenkins ya were the fuck are those guys...lurch rhett eric miss you all dam it!!!!!

Posted by robert jenkins at February 28, 2011 09:37 PM

WOW!!!!!!!! its me rob jenkins ya were the fuck are those guys...lurch rhett eric miss you all dam it!!!!!

Posted by robert jenkins at February 28, 2011 09:37 PM

me rob jenkins again reach me at were is my boys at????

Posted by robert jenkins at February 28, 2011 09:46 PM

The pictures on this website are absolutely beautiful and bring back very fond memories. My dad, Thomas Sullivan was stationed at Fort Wadsworth from '69 - '71. There were six of us kids in the family. I loved Ft. Wadsworth and would have lived there forever, if I could have. My dad retired from the Army in 1971 and we moved to Maine (his home state). We lived on Lasher Road while at Ft. Wadsworth. My friends were Bernadette and Victor Morris, Judy Rideout (Gary's younger sister), Harold Gray and a really cool guy named Jessie (I can't remember his last name). I was 12 - 13 and attended 8th grade at St. Mary's and the first year of high school at New Dorp. I also made some great friends who lived off base. It was a great place to spend my early teens. Dad had something to do with recreation services and mom taught ceramic classes. I knew Gary Rideout, Mark Williams, Sue Andrews and some guy named Lonnie (who did back flips and all kinds of gymnastics right in middle of the road). Those were the cool kids, and being a year or so younger, I did not fit in with them (I swear I did get "cooler" as I got older). The whole experience brings nothing but happy memories to me. Cheryl Sullivan.

Posted by Cheryl Sullivan at March 5, 2011 09:14 PM

To Larry Beckler, my wife and I thank you for your kind comments about my late father-in-law, Colonel Nick DeMaria. He was tough, but he was well-liked (especially by the enlisted soldiers) and highly respected during his time in the Army. Some of you who were at Fort Wadsworth around 1967 might remember Sergeant Irv Matus who was in the MP Detachment. He was a photographer and a very smart guy who often was put to work on special projects. I read in the Washington Post the other day that he died here in the Washington, DC area last month. I had not seen him since 1967 and had no idea he was in the same area where I have been for 30 years. Irv never finished college, but the Post said that he became a world-renowned self-taught expert on Shakespeare. Another piece of Fort Wadsworth history. RIP SGT Matus. And is there anyone tuned in who remembers SGT Joe Isbell from Leeds, Alabama or SGT Lynn Caraway from Modesto, California? They both worked with me when I was at Fort Wadsworth. Thanks for keeping this post going. Jack Lichtenstein

Posted by Jack Lichtenstein at March 10, 2011 09:49 PM

To Jack Lichtenstein:

I agree. Col. D was a man I was proud to serve under. I also remember his daughter. She was a very nice young lady. Probably got it from her dad.

Posted by Larry E. Beckler at March 14, 2011 08:05 PM

To Jack Lichtenstein:

I agree. Col. D was a man I was proud to serve under. I also remember his daughter. She was a very nice young lady. Probably got it from her dad.

Posted by Larry E. Beckler at March 14, 2011 08:05 PM

I was stationed at Fort Hamilton from January 1975 to September 1977. I remember Mark Royce and Paul Mitchell. Great times and lots of laughs.

Posted by George Calvo at April 1, 2011 09:39 PM

I'm former Captain Wilmot Powell, USAF. My father, Lt Colonel (then) Captain Wilmot Powell (USA)was stationed at Ft Wadsworth from 1964 to 1966. We used to lived in the brick duplex at 121 Artillery Rd almost directly across the street from the chapel. During that time he served as a Unit Intel officer, commander and Provost Marshal. We attended PS102 for kindergarten and then attended St Joseph Hill Academy for 1st/2nd grade. I remember being disappointed that we couldn't drive across the Bridge on opening day. Learning to swim at the post pool felt real good in the summer months! The view from the battery allowed us to see the Queen Mary sail by on her last cruise to New York and the completion of the Verrazano bridge. Ironically Staten Island was a quiet, safe place to grow-up. I've used Google Earth to look up all the places we lived and this is the only one that the house is gone (expected after 47 years) and I can't really see signs of what used to be. I also recall the Franz family as being good friends of my parents.

Posted by Rick Powell at April 30, 2011 02:16 AM

We lived in 121-A; I'm pretty certain the Franz family lived in 121-B. They had a son named Christopher.

Posted by Rick Powell at May 2, 2011 12:54 AM

I was drummer stationed at Ft. Wadsworth from 68-71 with the 26th Army Band. Slept there and woke to seeing the Verrazano bridge. Amazing sight. We played the opening of the lower level of the bridge. CWO Shettle was in charge. Sgt. Matarazzo conducted the band. Sgt. Cramer was in charge of supply. I remember signing out vehicles from the motor pool. Going to the dentist, and the commissary. The best was NYC was as close at the $0.05 ferry ride.There was also the gym, and of course the Px. The barber shop where we had to get haircuts twice a week because our hair was Crazy days.

Posted by Jack Day at May 28, 2011 03:30 PM

My father Dick Salvesen used to work on the base in the 60's and 70's. His office was in the Quadrangle. I used to visit him there when I was a young girl. When the US celebrated it's 200th anniversary in 1976, the family got on base for the best view to watch the ships come in the harbor under the Verrazano Bridge.

Posted by Debra Gilliam at May 30, 2011 12:53 AM

I lived in Ft. Wadsworth from '69 until May 1970, attending P.S. 39. Does anyone remember a Lt. Col. Kimberling?

Posted by Kirsten at July 23, 2011 11:34 PM

There is now a 26th United States Army Band page on F a c e b o o k

Posted by Brian Hill at August 16, 2012 02:23 PM

I've created a 26th United States Army Band page on F.a.c.e.b.o.o.k and welcome your comments.

Posted by B. Hill at November 6, 2012 07:01 PM

I arrived at Fort Jay in 1964 from the West Point Band (thrown out for insubordination). The top was a great guy, SGT Gigger. I came as a bassoonist but the W-4 Commander in charge of the band offered me a choice: play oboe or play in Korea. I played oboe. The Commander was a terrific Hawaiian guy who had been a master SGT himself before going up the ladder to Warrant Officer. I was in when the band moved to Ft. Hamilton. Left June 23rd 1966 (2:00Pm exactly!). Can anyone give me the name of the W-4 Hawaiian Commander?? Appreciate it.

Posted by Alan Goodman at December 5, 2012 09:16 PM

Staten Island is a horrible place.

Posted by gavin123 at February 1, 2013 01:40 AM
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