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Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, “Floyd Bennett Field Historic District,” materials in the files of the VRF-1 Association and the Floyd Bennett Field Task Force, as well as published sources related to the history of Naval Air Station New York (Floyd Bennett Field) and the Grumman Corporation's aircraft production in World War II. Richard Reed and James Van Westering of the Floyd Bennett Field Task Force wrote Floyd Bennett Field: Naval Aviation's Home in Brooklyn with assistance from the staff of Gateway National Recreation Area, National Park Service. Education consultant, Jean West, and the Teaching with Historic Places staff edited the lesson.

*Special note to teachers:
While the official naval designation for the air base was Naval Air Station New York during the period from 1941 to 1972, informally the base was always also referred to as Floyd Bennett Field. The name "Floyd Bennett Field" never went out of general widespread use.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used with units on World War II, Women's History, or units on measurement in mathematics.
Time Period: Mid-20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Floyd Bennett Field: Naval Aviation's Home in Brooklyn relates to the following Standards for School Mathematics developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:

Measurement
Instructional programs from prekindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to--

  • understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement;
  • apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements

Objectives for students
1) To understand the importance of the role of the United States as the “Arsenal of Democracy” to the outcome of World War II.
2) To illustrate how the collaboration between private enterprise in war equipment production, and the military's Naval Air Ferry Command in delivery, succeeded in the deployment of approximately 100,000 critically-needed new aircraft to the front lines.
3) To outline the contributions on the home front of women aircraft workers, such as the “Janes who made the planes” for Grumman Corporation, to Allied victory in World War II.
4) Research how WWII has been commemorated in their community or plan a program to commemorate Veterans Day or Memorial Day in their community.

Materials for students
The materials listed below can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students.
1) four maps including a Floyd Bennett Field Historic District map, a regional map showing the Field's relationship to World War II aircraft factories, and national maps showing naval air ferry routes, stopover and terminal sites;
2) three readings about Floyd Bennett Field, including its role in the Battle of the Atlantic, the story of Grumman Corporation's woman aircraft workers who built planes delivered to Floyd Bennett Field, and the Naval Air Ferry Command's role in delivering newly-commissioned airplanes to combat-bound units in World War II;
3) eight photographs of Floyd Bennett Field and the men and women whose efforts made it so successful during World War II.

Visiting the site
The Floyd Bennett Field Historic District is located on Floyd Bennett Field, which is part of the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. The district is located at the southern base of Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. Take the Belt Parkway to exit 11-S (Flatbush Avenue South). Make a left at the last light before the toll plaza for the Marine Parkway Bridge into Floyd Bennett Field. Floyd Bennett Field is open daily from sunrise to sunset. The Ryan Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. For further information, please write to Gateway National Recreation Area, Public Affairs Office, 210 New York Ave., Staten Island, NY 10305, call the park's Visitor Center staff at (718) 338-3799, or visit the park's website.

 

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