During the Second World War Fox Hills was home to between 4-5000 African American troops. They were stevedores involved in shipping supplies to the European war effort. Racial tensions rose in the area around the base.
In early 1945 a crime wave occurred in the vicinity of the Fox Hills base including robbery and assault, and culminated in the rape of a local widow. All the crimes were allegedly committed by GIs from the base. A Grand Jury was convened and heard testimony. The Army was blamed for a lack of discipline and recreation for the troops stationed on Staten Island. The Army set about building a club and brought Joe Louis, world's heavyweight boxing champion, and 3 other fighters to Fox Hills for a morale building mission through athletics. The Army also committed to moving five companies to other bases.
Read about the alleged crimes in the articles below.