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Must-See Tour: "The Can-Do Yard: WWII at the Brooklyn Navy Yard"

Perfect for Presidents Day, Veterans Day and Other National Holidays


Must-See Tour:

Brooklyn Navy Yard bike tour

Photo by E. Freudenheim

Visitors can now take a tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard that explores some of the most fascinating corners of this historic site on the Brooklyn waterfront.


This thematic tour, "The Can-Do Yard: WWII at the Brooklyn Navy Yard", was newly launched on President's Day Weekend 2013.

If you're interested, book well in advance; these tours are often sold-out.

This tour is a must-see for history buffs, especially those interested in naval history, military history, Civil War and WWII history. It's also of interest to those interested in feminist history, because many women worked here in so-called traditionally male jobs during the WWII effort.

About the Brooklyn Navy Yard

See Visitors Guide tot he Brooklyn Navy Yard


For those that don't know of its 20th century reputation, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was a seminal ship building site during the Second World War. An estimated 70,000 women and men worked feverishly to build battleships and aircraft carriers. An extraordinary number of ships, numbered at over 5,000, were repaired at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

And, from this site, thousands of American troops and supplies were dispatched to war fronts in Europe and Asia.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard was more than just a place, it defined a certain spirit. It was dubbed "The Can-Do Yard."


About the The Can-Do Yard: WWII at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Tour

Bring history to life here. What you will see and learn on this tour, organized by Turnstile Tours and BLDG 92, the Navy Yard's own cultural center, includes:
  • explore the role of the New York City waterfront in the war effort
  • learn about the relationships and stories linking the Yard and famous battles of World War II
  • visit the Naval Hospital campus (read more below)
  • see the Naval Film Exchange
  • visit a working dry dock, and
  • visit other historically significant sites within the Yard and in the surrounding communities.

Other WWII Sites in Brooklyn

About the Navy Yard Hospital

More sailors called this hospital home than might care to remember. And for many, it was their last place of residence before the grave.


The complex consists of a vast, eerily empty and beautiful hospital, and the home of the Chief Surgeon

The Navy Hospital, dating from before the Civil War to 1838, is a two-story Greek Revival marble hospital designed by prominent military architect Martin B. Thompson. According to the Navy Yard sources, "during the Civil War, the Hospital’s Naval laboratory prepared most of the medicines used by the Union Navy," and accommodated about a quarter of the entire patient load of all naval hospitals.

Perched right next to the Hospital complex is a brick building with a mansard roof, dating over 160 years in age. It was home to the Chief Surgeon’s House.


Tour Details

  • Mode of transport: Bus and foot. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is vast; this is a bus tour that takes guests from place to place. However, you will be able to walk around various sites.
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Price: $30/person (Free admission for WWII veterans. Discounts available for veterans)
  • Advance purchase recommended

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