Exploring Albany's inglorious past and dubious future

ALBANY’S WWII HONOR ROLLS

Beginning in 1942, Service Clubs and Honor Roll Clubs began to pop up around the city, organized to do whatever they could for those boys in the armed forces who were residents of the ward. They would donate cigarettes and snacks to our men and women overseas fighting the war.

To make public their support, each ward would choose a location for a conspicuous outdoor display. This would typically begin with the raising of a service flag, followed by the building of a giant “honor roll,” listing the names of neighborhood soldiers. These were often massive, grand affairs, and every city ward eventually created and maintained such a billboard. Sometimes there were tribute boards for multiple districts with a ward; sometimes these were supplanted by smaller boards in VFW halls, church vestibules, public establishments, and even on the lawns of private homes.

As WWII came to a close, one by one, these “permanent” tributes fell into disrepair, were vandalized, and removed without fanfare, most gone by 1948. Today, only a small handful of honor rolls remain. This posting is meant to at least document the known ones, and, with your help, fill in details of others I’ve not been able to locate.

HONOR ROLL LOCATIONS, BY WARD

First Ward – Delaware Avenue and Hurlbut Street, and Southern Blvd and McAlpin Street (Second, Fourth, and Fifth Districts), Lincoln Park – Delaware Avenue and Morton Avenue (First, Second, Seventh and Eighth Districts)lincoln

1st ward

Second Ward – South Pearl Street and Second Avenue

12nd ward

Third Ward – Fourth Avenue and South Pearl Street

Fourth Ward – Broadway and John Street

Fifth Ward – Partition Street and Lansing Place

Sixth Ward – Third and Catherine Streets

Seventh Ward – Broadway and Tracey Street

Eighth Ward – Northern Boulevard and Colonie Street

8th ward

Ninth Ward – lawn in front of School 20

Tenth Ward – Townsend Park (still extant, shrine replace by a boulder in 1951)

10th ward

tenth ward defaced

10th ward today

Eleventh Ward – McCrossin and Pennsylvania Avenues (still extant)

11th ward

Twelfth Ward – Sheridan Avenue and Dove Street

sheridan and dove

12th ward

sheridan and dove 23014

Thirteenth Ward – Madison Avenue and Western Avenue

13th ward

Fourteenth Ward – Eagle Street and Lancaster Street, next to the old Medical College, opposite Albany Police Headquarters

14th dedicationx

14th ward

Fifteenth Ward – Myrtle Avenue and Swan Street

15th ward

Sixteenth Ward – Dana Park (Madison Avenue and Lark Street)

16th ward

Seventeenth Ward – Swinburne Park (Clinton Avenue and North Manning Boulevard)

swinburne1

swinburne2

Eighteenth Ward – School 4 (north side), New Scotland Avenue and Maplewood Avenue (south side)

school 4

18th ward

Nineteenth Ward – Manning Boulevard and Kent Street

19th ward

OTHER HONOR ROLL LOCATIONS, CITY OF ALBANY

329 Delaware Avenue, by William Bradley James, apartment house caretaker

delmar honor roll

Albany Police, Second Precinct

2nd precinct

Bleecker Stadium – scoreboard was turned into combination scoreboard and honor roll

Brotherhood of Railway Carmen – Carmen’s Hall, Clinton Avenue

brotherhood

Congregation Sons of Abraham – South Ferry Street and Franklin Street

Jewish Community Center

jcc honor roll

jewish flag

Morton Avenue and Elizabeth Street

morton & elizabeth st

Second Avenue and West Van Vechten Street
1942, rededicated 1961 and again in 2018

anne neville 2nd avenue van vechten

west van vechten ceremony

From the Second Avenue Neighborhood Association on Facebook, 2018: “Yesterday a Veteran’s Day service was held in the West VanVechten Community Memorial Park to honor all the veteran’s who served our county from our neighborhood and the City of Albany. Thanks to the Sgt. Henry Johnson Jr ROTC (Albany HS) for the Color Guard and the American Legion and VFW who organize this service every year. We are grateful that this service is held here each year as this is one of the few community veteran’s memorials left in the City. Take the time this week to thank a veteran – a neighbor, friend, relative – for serving our country and remember those who did not come home. It is because of their service that we can live in peace”

west van vechten

taken August 13, 2020

West Albany – Sand Creek Road and Everett Road, Exchange Street and Sumter Road

Whitehall Road Improvement Association – School 23

whitehall school 23

OTHER HONOR ROLL LOCATIONS, SUBURBAN

Altamont – Village Park

altamont

Bethlehem – Service Men’s Park, Delaware Avenue and Oakwood Place (rededicated 1962, restored and enhanced 2001, new park sign 2002)

bethlehem

bethlehem 2

2020

bethlehem3

photo credit Steve Stoessel

Colonie – School 20, Stop 28 Albany-Schenectady Road (Central Avenue)

Guilderland – lawn of Presbyterian Church

guilderland

courtesy Guilderland Historical Society

Guilderland Center – Cobblestone School

guilderland center

courtesy Guilderland Historical Society

Latham – originally in the center of the circle, moved to Latham Corners Shopping Center and rededicated in 1957, moved to Kiwanis Park  1976.

1957 latham

lathammm

Kiwanis Park

Loudonville – Town Hall, Minaville

McKownville – 1421 Western Avenue on the property of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur W. Witbeck

mckownville

Menands – Menands Municipal Building

Slingerlands – Slingerlands Fire Hall

Voorheesville

voorheesville

voorheesville 1950

Westmere – Westmere Fire House

westmere

courtesy Guilderland Historical Society

NEED MORE INFORMATION

Swan and Sheridan

The Service Club, Workman’s Circle, 2 Ash Grove Place

MODERN MEMORIALS

Colonie – The Crossings of Colonie

town of colonie

New York State Women Veterans Memorial – Empire State Plaza, near the Museum

New York State Women Veterans Memorial

New York State World War II Memorial – – Empire State Plaza, near the Museum

New York State World War II Memorial

Further reading:

Twelfth Ward/Bayhill Park

Altamont Enterprise

Latham Honor Roll

2 Responses to “ALBANY’S WWII HONOR ROLLS”

  1. Carole J. Egan

    I lived across the street from the one at the intersection of Sheridan and Dove Street in the 1940s.

    Reply

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