World's Fair Bomb memorial plaque.

Plaque to Policemen Killed by a World's Fair Bomb

Field review by the editors.

Queens, New York

On July 4, 1940, a suspicious satchel -- it was ticking -- was found inside the British Pavilion at the New York World's Fair. Officers Joe Lynch and Freddy Socha were called in to investigate. It was in the middle of the afternoon, and the satchel had been brought outside, to the back of the Polish Pavilion. Socha opened the bag. Lynch peered inside. The bomb went off, blowing them both to bits and leaving a crater 30 feet in circumference. Nearby Fair-goers thought that it was fireworks for the 4th of July. The bombers were never caught, and everyone blamed the Nazis, or maybe the Irish.

It took 24 years, until the second New York World's Fair, for a plaque to be dedicated to Lynch and Socha. It was set in the ground in front of the New York City Pavilion. This is on the opposite end of the Fairgrounds from where the bomb went off, but in 1964 that spot lay under the Van Wyck Expressway.

"This plaque is dedicated to the memory of detectives Joseph J. Lynch and Ferdinand A. Socha, Bomb and Forgery Squad, who were killed in the line of duty while examining a time bomb taken from the British Pavilion of the World's Fair in Flushing Meadow Park at 4:45 P.M. on July 4, 1940."

Also see: 1964-65 New York World's Fair

Plaque to Policemen Killed by a World's Fair Bomb

Flushing Meadows Park.

Address:
Ave. of the States, Queens, NY
Directions:
Flushing Meadows Park. By subway: #7 train to 111th St. in Queens. Walk downhill on 111th St. (south) for four blocks. Just after you cross under a bridge, you'll see rockets to the left; you can cut diagonally through the parking lot to get to them. Walk past the rockets, bear to the right at the supersonic jet sculpture, then make a left at the geodesic dome and walk across the bridge over the Grand Central Pky. To the right is a gray, boxy building, the Queens Museum of Art; its front entrance faces the Unisphere; the plaque is on the ground in front of the entrance.
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