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Sperandeo Brothers Playground

Sperandeo Brothers Playground

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.
Andrew (1915-1944), Matthew (1919-1942), and Joseph (1923-1963) Sperandeo were three brothers from East New York who served their country with honor in World War II. Andrew and Matthew lost their lives in action while Joseph came home from the war with a bleeding ulcer. Though this playground was named by the City Council in 1961 in memory of the two older brothers, its name now applies to all three courageous siblings.

The Sperandeos grew up in an apartment at 658 Liberty Avenue in the pre-World War II period when this neighborhood was known as Liberty Park. The area was home to many Italian immigrants, including the Sperandeos’ parents who were from Avellino. The three brothers lived with their sisters Rachel, Madeline, and Mamie, and their mother, Maria, who raised her six children on her own after the death of her husband, Thomas, in 1930. Both of the older sons left school early to support their family, trading in their textbooks from PS 108 and Thomas Jefferson High School for aprons at Gobel’s meat packing plant.

On January 10, 1942 Matthew enlisted with the 3rd Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division Reinforced, stationed at Parris Island, North Carolina. He was killed in the line of duty on October 13, 1942, at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Andrew enlisted on September 14, 1943 and was sent to England with the United States 8th Army Air Corps. He was killed on a volunteer mission in Loganville, France, on June 14, 1944, eight days after D-Day. Three months after Joseph entered the service with the 188 Glider Infantry Company C, on March 10, 1943, he was discharged due to a life-threatening illness. He served as Post Commander for the Sperandeo Brothers Post 1472 of the American Legion, and lived to see this playground named for his brothers.

This site was first acquired by the City in 1938. When Intermediate School 302 was constructed in 1972, the playground was rebuilt and its boundaries redrawn. This playground, bounded by Atlantic Avenue to the north, and Linwood and Elton Streets to the east and west, was reconstructed in 1997 under a capital project funded by Borough President Golden. Improvements included new swings, play equipment, safety surfacing, game tables, concrete turtles, benches, landscaping, pavement, and fencing.

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