Where in the Valley: Underwater Arsenal

A 70-year-old torpedo is part of the scenery in one Valley town

Where in the Hudson Valley…?

Now here’s something you don’t see every day: a submarine torpedo, parked alongside a well-used thoroughfare in a (decidedly land-locked) mid-Valley town. Along with the commemorative plaques that surround it, the torpedo — a World War II-era Mark 14 — is part of a submarine veterans’ memorial.

How the memorial — and the torpedo — came to be in this particular town (which, by the way, is bordered by a ridge of bedrock on its western side) is an interesting story, told to us by Wallkill’s Matthew Schmitz (the former first commander of Hudson Valley Submarine Veterans, Inc.). In the 1970s, sub vets Henry “Moose” Karn of Poughkeepsie, and his brother, Fred Karn (who lived in Ulster County), contacted the commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland. The brothers arranged pick-up of the weapon for use as part of a New York State memorial to submarine veterans. Using a boat trailer, Moose and Fred transported the disarmed torpedo to Camp Smith, near Peekskill, where the monument was erected. The memorial was moved to its present location in the 1980s in order to give the general public greater access to it. It now resides in front of a local VFW hall, where the HV Submarine Veterans hold their meetings.

Think you know in which town this memorial missile can be found? Write your answer as a comment in the box below; the first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!

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