2005-07-01 / Community

Bill Curtis Remembers 1946 FRHS Rifle Team

Bill Curtis was a member of the Far Rockaway Rifle team from 1944-46. He graduated in 1946 and as recalls the photo in the June 24 edition is from 1945. He writes:

Left to right: Fred Kiefer, Myself, Al Minkoff, Richie Sierra & Monica Ryan, Fred Smith, Ed Mittleman and the star of the team, Bob Murphy.

Our team had won every tournament in the City, beaten every school in NY City, and any place that would have a rifle meet with us. We contested the US Military Academy and won, we met with Bordentown Military Academy in NJ, we contested Charminade in LI, we never lost..

We were unbeatable, we practiced every day including Saturdays. Richie was an ex-marine from WW1 and was a wonderful coach, he was hard but got results. I believe we won 87 of 88 matches.

I graduated and joined the Navy and spent 3 ½ years in a Navy Fighter Squadron aboard an aircraft carrier. Then I was recalled when the Korean War began and spent 2 years again on a carrier off Korea.

I’m a third generation Rockawayite. My Grandfather William J. Curtis owned Curtis’ restaurant and hotel on 103rd street from the late 1800’s till prohibition. He lived on the corner of 104th street and Washington Ave. in Seaside

My father was born there and was a member of the 24th Co. in WW1. He went to France with the 57th Field Artillery and was wounded. He returned home, became a NY Policeman, then a NY Fireman and resided at 441 Beach 136th Street, where I grew up.

As above, I attended FRHS, graduated and spent about 5 years in Naval Aviation, and then worked for IBM for 39 years. I’m married have 3 children, and 3 grandkids. Live in Cranford NJ where I’m a trustee in the Historical Society, and have a summer home in Breezy Point. I write a column in the Rockaway Point News headed “Flotsam and Jetsam” which is just about anything.

My favorite item in the Wave, which I subscribe to, is Historical Views. Many of the old photos I recognize from when I was a kid. Rockaway was a wonderful place to grow up in and my kids love to hear about my years as a child here. In fact when I write about my childhood in my column I always get favorable comments from persons that are of my vintage. Keep the paper going, and NEVER let the historical views be removed from the paper.

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