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Piece of Sunnyside History is Gone, VFW Post Closes After 90 Years

The John Vincent Daniels Jr. VFW Post at 43-53 43rd St. has closed (Photo: Queens Post)

Jan. 4, 2021 By Christian Murray

A Sunnyside institution came to an end last week, with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post officially closing after being in the neighborhood for nearly 90 years.

The John Vincent Daniels Jr. VFW Post, or Post 2813, officially shut down its 43-53 43rd St. location on Dec. 31.

The closure represents the end of the VFW Post 2813 in Sunnyside, which has been in a number of locations throughout the neighborhood since 1933.

The post was co-named after a World War I soldier killed in France whose parents lived in the area. A local park, located on Roosevelt Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets, is also named after him.

“It is a sad time in our history—both as an organization and for Sunnyside,” said Marvin Jeffcoat, a former Commander of VFW Post 2813 and a current board member. “A local piece of history has gone.”

Jeffcoat said that Post 2813 had struggled to find new members and its older members had either moved to Florida or have passed away.

“We needed to get new members and we struggled to get them,” Jeffcoat said.

He said that the COVID-19 restrictions, crimping their ability to operate, also hurt the organization. “The restrictions were the nail in the coffin.”

The decision to close was made at the Post’s November board meeting, Jeffcoat said. There was also discussion about whether the entire organization–Post 2813– should just cease to exist.

The board decided to keep the charter going and use space at the Catholic War Veterans Post 870 when needed, Jeffcoat said. The Catholic War Veterans post is located nearby at 39-46 61st St. in Woodside.

Jeffcoat said that one day Post 2813 might have a resurgence and find space of its own once again.

The position VFW Post 2813 finds itself in today is in stark contrast to the 1950s and 1960s when the organization was in its heyday and there was a large number of veterans in the area.

The post was flourishing soon after WWII and in 1951 the organization bought its own building. The post purchased 45-08 Skillman Avenue, where Holy Mountain Pre School operates out of today.

In 1965, as membership continued to swell, the post sold the Skillman Avenue building and bought a property at 41-20 Queens Blvd. It constructed a new building on that site and created one of the largest Post Rooms in New York.

It then sold the building in 1992. Today, that property is occupied by a Dunkin Donuts, a threading store, Q Studio Labs and a pizzeria.

The post, with its sales proceeds from the 41-20 Queens Blvd. building, then moved to 43-16 Queens Blvd, where Mad For Chicken is located today. It rented that location for about a decade before relocating to 51-27 Queens Blvd.

The Post moved out of its 51-27 Queens Blvd location in 2013 and to its 43rd Street location.

Jeffcoat, who is also the commander of the Catholic War Veterans Post on 61st Street, said that the Catholic post is on solid financial footing and that Post 2813 will have a secure home there.

However, he said, Catholic War Veterans is being hurt by COVID-19. He said the organization brings in revenue from renting its space for baby showers and other events, which are no longer permitted.

Jeffcoat remains hopeful, however, that Post 2813 will one day have a resurgence. “Hopefully, we can get members and get a place of our own again.”

John Vincent Daniels Jr. VFW Post has partnered with Catholic War Veterans Post 870 to use space at the facility (Photo: Queens Post)

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23 Comments

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Disgusted Citizen

As sad as this is, it is also really sad to see the graffiti here and throughout all of Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC. It is symbolic of the serious decline in the area and lack of respect for the people who live here.

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Doug Ogle

So very sad. My father and father in law both belonged to the post and were both past post commanders. Sorry to see it go.

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Society is in the sewer

It shows the mentally of the young people that live around here, they graffitied the gates to the veterans hall. No respect for the same guys who risked their lives defending this country so these punks could live a live of freedom .
Also, If some cop caught them and gave them a snack in the head the cop would be arrested.

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Bruce Murphy

I am really sorry to see that it is gone. I left the area in 1997 but I always kept my life membership with that post. I believe I was the first Vietnam Vet to join the post. I will always have many great memories from there.

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Sickening

What is wrong when an American legion is lost and its now a korean chicken joint. I dont know, but i think There is something wrong with this

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ABoondy

what will they do with empty space if there are no vets joining the group or even manage it?

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Mason Manner Msgt USAF(retired)

As a member of 2813 it’s a sad moment but the handwriting was on the wall when a committee in the post sold the revenue generating Queens Blvd location plus the fact that LESS THAN 1%OF THE POPULATION OF THE U.S. WILL EVER SERVE IN THE U.S. FORCES and the fact that many young people consider military service beneath them

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ABoondy

on the other hand much of the population has gone to college and received a proper education. its not that military service is beneath them, but what pays the bills. not sure if you noticed, but rent aint exactly cheap in nyc. there is also the lingering question of whose interests soldiers are told to serve…the nation or its corporations? lastly, machines have replaced soldiers. drones are expendable and dont cost lives.

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eric

wth did they do with the proceeds from the sale of 2 nyc properties? didn’t invest it well i see.

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Elizabeth Pelliccaro

We would be interested in joining the organization, we had stopped by 2813 a few times and thought that maybe we would join,then the covid came.So sorry for the closing .We would be interested in joining when time is right. Thank you.

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Anonymous

They were our neighbors. They were very friendly and an important part of the neighborhood. I am sad to see them go, they are men and women who greatly deserve our respect.

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SuperWittySmitty

I’m stating a fact. They were in dire straits 3-4 years ago, as reported in the Sunnyside Post. Their demise was not Cuomo’s fault. What, are you anti-intelligent?

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no jobs, no wall, no economy

Trump wiped out the national economy. How is that Cuomo’s fault again?

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You voted for this

Pity that the property was graffitied by punk vandals with no respect for American veterans.

Nowadays, criminals have free reign it seems. Maybe they just wanted some bread.

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Hipsters don't make sense

Yeah, right: Trump personally killed 400,000 people. Are you that dumb? You really need to return to your therapy!

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Trump Derangement Syndrome is real

Seriously, what does Trump have to do with this? He’s not mentioned in this story or that comment.

Get yourself some help from a qualified mental health professional.

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Trump should be charged with criminal negligent homicide and sedition

A ruler doesn’t have to be the physical or actual perpetrator of the act of a murder to be held responsible for the crime as history as shown.

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Society is in the sewer

Why should it have been defaced in the first place. This is why society is in the sewer. People with this mentality. They are too ignorant to understand what’s wrong with this type of thinking.

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