Sandy Hook Oral Histories

A radar unit at Fort Hancock during the Cold War. NPS ARCHIVES
A radar unit at Fort Hancock during the Cold War.


The lives of "ordinary" people

The Sandy Hook Oral History Program consists of more than 100 interviews with people who either lived or worked at Sandy Hook. Most were soldiers and dependents of the U.S. Army, but many others worked here too. Interviews were conducted by park staff and Monmouth University student interns over several years. These are personal memories, which may be imprecise with the passage of time. Interviews may include factual errors and opinions. Items written in parenthesis are editorial notes. In a few rare instances, objectionable or offensive comments have been edited or removed.

For most of the last two centuries, Sandy Hook was Federal property. A lighthouse and two Life-Saving Service stations helped protect and save ship passengers. The U.S. Army established a longterm presence here when Fort Hancock was commissioned in 1895. Many thousands of people lived and worked at the Hook. Population peaked during World War II when more than 7,000 soldiers trained here and guarded New York Harbor from America's enemies.

Before and During World War I
Fort Hancock Between Wars
World War II at Fort Hancock
Cold War at Fort Hancock
Families of Fort Hancock

Last updated: April 29, 2021

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