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Guide to the Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection ARC.003

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Amy Lau, Mary Mann, Aliki Caloyeras, and Margaret Fraser

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on  , September 3, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Oral History Interview with George Martinez, June 24, 2008

Biographical / Historical

George Martinez (1933- ) grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with two sisters. His parents were both born in Columbia, as well as his older sister Grace Martinez De La Rosa (1923- ), who worked as a welder at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during WWII. After marrying, Grace Martinez De La Rosa moved to Mexico City, while George Martinez worked for the US Postal Service and currently lives on Long Island. Grace Martinez De La Rosa (1923- ) was studying to become a teacher in college when WWII began and she left to work at the Navy Yard.

Scope and Contents

In his interview, George Martinez (1933- ) discusses his own experience growing up during the war, as well as what he remembers of his sister's work as a welder at the Navy Yard. He remembers collecting scraps for the war effort and his sister returning home with a burned uniform or eye injuries. George Martinez explains that many people who could not get jobs before the war, because of disabilities or race, were able to get jobs at the Navy Yard during this time. He also recalls the block party with his neighbors to celebrate the end of the war. Interview conducted by Sady Sullivan.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • De La Rosa, Grace Martinez

Subject Organizations

  • New York Naval Shipyard

Subject Topics

  • Family
  • Neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Race relations -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Shipbuilding -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Shipfitting
  • Shipyards -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Wages -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Women -x Employment -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Work environment -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • World War, 1939-1945

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.)
  • Long Island (N.Y.)
  • Mexico
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Emigration and immigration