WILLIAM J. SMITH was a familiar sight to all who worked at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyards on Broadway at Morgan Street, as for many years he carried the shipyard's internal mail and walked the length of the facility twice daily.

William J. Smith was born in the state of Pennsylvania in 1906, according to his enlistment records. He had a grammar school education and was living in Camden when inducted into the Army on June 10, 1942. He had been married, but was separated with dependents at the time of his induction, and eventually was divorced.  

William J. Smith served with the United States Army in India during World War II. He married Elizabeth Paul Barnaby after coming back from the war. The

1947 City Directory shows William J. and Elizabeth S. Smith living at 718 Woodland Avenue in the Morgan Village section of Camden, the long-time home of her parents, Isaac and Elizabeth Paul. He was then working as a salesman, but soon afterwards secured his position at the shipyard. The Smiths lived for a time on Constitution Road in the Fairview section before moving to 551 Woodland Avenue in the small neighborhood known as "The Terraces", just across Broadway from the shipyard where he worked.

William and Elizabeth Smith were not blessed with children between them, but had children from previous marriages. Elizabeth's youngest daughter, Ruth, served with United States Army during World War II and married James J. Cusick after the war. He served for many years as a member of the Camden Fire Department. Grandson James Cusick Jr. also was a Camden firefighter for a time.

Attached are some photos of my grandfather. Like my dad, he was also stationed in India, but I don't know what he did there. After the war he worked at the New York Shipyard. He and my grandmother originally lived in Fairview, on Constitution Road, but in the late 1960s they moved over to Woodland Avenue in "The Terraces" (across Broadway from the Shipyard). He was a mailman for the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. He delivered the mail to all of the buildings as well as the ships. He once told me he walked the entire length of the shipyard, twice daily! Once in the morning, and then again after lunch, and he knew everybody who worked there, too.

My grandmother's name was Elizabeth, and now that you mention it, I seem to remember them saying that they once before had lived on Woodland Avenue, before moving back in the 1960's. He was a very personable guy and everybody liked him. He was definitely a mailman though, that I do remember. 

Pat Cusick
November 2011

Mother and daughter
with their husbands
Circa 1946

William J. Smith & Elizabeth Smith

James J. Cusick & Ruth Cusick

On Porch: Unknown