Long Island National Cemetery
Photo added by GLENN

Long Island National Cemetery

East Farmingdale, Suffolk County , New York, USA

About

Long Island National Cemetery was established in 1936 in Farmingdale, NY and currently encompasses 364 acres with over 356,000 interments. It is run by the US Dept of Veterans Affairs. Among those interred are German and Italian POWs from WWII as well as 35 WWII soldiers from British Commonwealth countries. A mass grave in this cemetery holds the remains of 36 unknown Italian POWs who were killed onboard a British ship off Algeria in a torpedo attack.

Office Hours:
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Memorial Day 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Visitation Hours:
Monday through Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Long Island National Cemetery is located in the community of Farmingdale on Long Island in Suffolk County, N.Y. Establishment of the cemetery in 1936 reflected one aspect of the rapid urbanization of American society in the post-World War I period. With nearly five million veterans of that conflict alone eligible for interment in a national cemetery, it was evident that existing facilities in the vicinity of large urban areas were insufficient. The situation was particularly critical in New York City and its environs. The only federal cemetery in the area, Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, established in 1862, had limited acreage available for burials. In response, in 1936 Congress authorized the Secretary of War to purchase suitable land to enlarge the existing cemetery. After considerable research and numerous site investigations, the War Department instead purchased 175 acres from Pinelawn Cemetery for the construction and development of a new national cemetery.

The lack of available gravesites in Cypress Hills National Cemetery made it necessary to develop the new facility rapidly, and the land was sufficiently cleared to permit the first burials in March 1937. Moreover, between March and November that year, a total of 426 interments were made. During its first eight years, Long Island National Cemetery held 10,167 interments.

The section of the cemetery containing World War II POWs includes the graves of 37 Germans and 54 Italians. The remains of the 36 unknown Italian POWs are interred in a single mass grave; they were among 1,800 prisoners onboard a British ship en route from northeast to northwest Algeria when a torpedo struck the ship. Many prisoners confined in the holds were injured, killed outright or drowned. The initial search of the ship failed to locate all casualties, and after the ship returned to the United States, remains of another 36 prisoners were recovered.

NOTABLE BURIALS

Samuel Albert Countee (1909-1959) was born in Texas. He grew up in Houston, graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1928, and earned a reputation as a talented artist. He came of age during the Harlem Renaissance and majored in art at Bishop College. In 1933 his painting Little Brown Boy attracted national attention and in 1936 his murals were included in the Texas Centennial Hall of Negro Life. During these years, he studied in Boston, established himself in New York, and received accolades for portrayals of African Americans. In World War II, Countee joined the U.S. Army and served 1942-1945. Staff Sergeant Countee was stationed in Iran and stateside when, in 1945, he painted a mural in the black officers' club at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Countee returned to New York after the war, married in 1953, and died six years later on September 11 (Section 2B, 2134).

Private First Class William Thompson (Korea). William Thompson was born in August 1927 in New York City. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1945 and completed one tour of duty. Thompson reenlisted in January 1948 and served with the 24th Infantry in 1949-1950. On August 6, 1950, near Haman in South Korea, Thompson provided cover for comrades as they withdrew from a surprise enemy attack. His courage was recognized posthumously with the Medal of Honor, which his mother received in June 1951. Thompson is one of two black soldiers to receive the Medal of Honor for service in the Korean Conflict. He is interred in Section DSS, Site 19.

First Lieutenant John Earl Warren, Jr. (Vietnam). John Earl Warren, Jr., was born November 16, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York. He joined the U.S. Army in 1967 and First Lieutenant Warren's first tour started September 7, 1968. He was a platoon leader for Company C, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. On January 14, 1969, the platoon was ambushed as it moved forward to reinforce another unit. When a grenade landed in their group, Warren fell on it to shield other soldiers. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, which was presented to his family in April 1970. He is buried in Section O, Site 33144.

Advertisement

  • Added: 1 Jan 2000
  • Find a Grave Cemetery ID: 65121