Library program to commemorate D-Day

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:13

    WARWICK-One of the best-kept secrets of the World War II in the Hudson Valley will be the topic of a slide show and talk by Historian Scott Webber at the Albert Wisner Public Library on Saturday June 5 at 2 p.m. Webber, an area resident, author, and journalist, will show the story of Camp Shanks, which was located at Orangeburg, N.Y. from 1942-1946, and relate its role in providing 1.3 million troops for the June 6, 1944 D-Day Landings in Normandy, France. Because Shanks, which had bunks for over 48,000 troops, operated 24 hours a day - sending troops to Hoboken and New York City where they boarded ships for Europe, its story was kept out of the press. Over 100 families were given two weeks to vacate their old homestead farms in September 1942 to make way for the camp, which became the nation's largest military embarkation center. Webber will relate how Camp Shanks was part of the military operated New York Port of Embarkation in World War II. He is the author of the definitive story, "Camp Shanks 1942-46", and later "Shanks Village 1946-1956". That story details the time when the 2,040-acre army camp became the nation's largest veterans' low-cost housing. 4,000 GIs and their young families lived in small 4-room apartments created in the 1,500 barracks. Their struggles to make it on $120 a month G.I. Bill allotment are part of this 20th-century pioneer story. He is also the author of "D-Day to Y2k", about his years as historian and journalist and a forthcoming sequel, "Extra! Extra! : Pearl Harbor to 9-11", as well as "Political Cartoon History of the New Deal" and "Rockland County Century of History: 1900-2000."