My father, Stanley Bryk served as a Boatswain’s Mate First Class in the US Navy during the World War II. He participated in four invasions, led the enlisted sailors of the USS Lyon and LST-372, shot down aircraft, and supervised the day-to-day operations of both ships. But, his adventures in New York City were perhaps the most distinctive and noteworthy.
His LST-372 returned to the States to be refitted and rearmed before the Normandy Invasion. While there, the crew made a short stop to New York Harbor where Stanley took the payroll master to Wall Street to fill the payroll slips for the sailors. He was allowed to use a Higgins boat which is a small boat that could carry troops from ships to open beaches. They drove the boat out, docked, took care of the paperwork, and then attempted to return to the LST-372.
A developing fog in the harbor began to pose a problem. Stanley motored around looking for the LST, but gave up and attempted to land back on Manhattan Island. Well, at least they thought they did. To their amazement, they passed a towering figure−The Statue of Liberty. Stanley knew that at least he was in New York City! They finally landed on the adjacent island; Stanley had successfully invaded Ellis Island in that dense fog.