The 2013 Public Access Season has concluded
The 2013 public access season on Governors Island has ended. Governors Island will re-open to the public Memorial Day Weekend, 2014.
“Bill” Bandura served in the U.S. Army at the post on Governors Island known as Fort Jay during the Korean War, from 1949 until 1952. Bill worked in the Publication Office and had Top Secret clearance. He would figure out the printing and distribution of military orders. Bill remembers the day to day duties on the island, often working from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
He recalled one occasion that he was assigned guard duty at Castle Williams. Being a Sunday morning, he remembers marching the prisoners to church. But Bill did not only have traditional military duties on Governors Island. One day, he helped fill in for two young women working at the snack bar of the YMCA.
Bill’s story has given us a glimpse into what daily life was like for soldiers at Fort Jay. However Bill has also generously donated paperwork and photographs from his time at the military post. Included in this collection is the receipt that Bill received for the $3.00 he was compensated for his one day of work at the YMCA at Fort Jay. Also among the papers are news bulletins handed out daily at the army post and a letter of recommendation written for him by the Chief of the Publications Supply and Reproduction Branch. In it, the chief wrote about Bill, “His honesty and loyalty are beyond question and he had contributed much to the improvement and efficiency of the printing plant.” Bill’s recollections and memories and his collection of paperwork and photos will greatly help the National Park Service in its mission to conserve the military history here at Governors Island National Monument.
Did You Know?
Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), from Maine, graduated from West Point in 1856. During the Civil War, he fought at Manassas; Fair Oaks – where he lost his right arm; Antietam; Chancellorsville; Gettysburg; Chattanooga; Atlanta; and participated in the march across Georgia. In 1865 he headed the Freedmans’ Bureau, which resettled and enforced the rights of newly freed African-American slaves in the South. His interest in their education led him to establish Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. From 1884 to the end of his Army career, he commanded the U.S. Army in the Eastern United States from Governors Island.