The Story of Fleetweek in New York

  THE STORY OF FLEETWEEK IN NEW YORK

Fleetweek really started out on the West Coast in San Francisco in the late 70’s or early 80’s.

One of the New York Navy League Council directors, Richard Scheuing was visiting in California & experienced the wonderful public relations that was generated.

Upon his return he tried for a considerable time to generate the enthusiasm but encountered resistance.    A few years later, Dick became President of the Council & made it his goal.

The first FLEETWEEK in New York occurred in 1988.   Initially the Navy committed six small ships and the first FLEETWEEK happened in April.

The Navy League could not do it alone so the New York Maritime headed by Paul Preus joined to sponsor the event.   The 88 & 89 FLEETWEEKS were run by both organizations & then in 1990 the New York Council, Navy League took over.

Another Director, Art Ward (succeeding Scheuing as president) had influential friends in Washington.

Ward & Scheuing went to Washington & sat down with then AIRLANT,  VADM RICHARD DUNLEAVY.  Hoping to get either a Battle Ship or an Aircraft carrier.  To their surprise,  AIRLANT offered both a Battle Ship & an Aircraft Carrier.   Thus FLEETWEEK was born.

1988 FLEETWEEK was led off by USS AMERICA CV-66 & the USS IOWA, BATTLE SHIP.

Terry Dougherty was the first to run FLEETWEEK followed by BILL WHITE & KRISTEN KELLY (married to one of the FISHER’S)

Representing the US NAVY was PATRICK BURNS.  Who was involved for several years.  His Successor was MAGGIE SWEENEY.   Today & for the past few years the baton was passed to VICTOR MARTINEZ.

I was involved since 1988 by taking sailors & Marines out to dinner.   This started as a small group & eventually grew to my hosting two hundred Sailors & Marines to dinner every year.

I bought fifty tickets to PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for three or four years for the troops  and the theatre gave an equal number or more.  Finally the SHUBERT ORGANIZATION came to the rescue & provided free Broadway Theatre tickets since 1991 to the present.  In 2011, THE SHUBERT ORGANIZATION arranged for 560 tickets.  More than half were orchestra seats.

To date, the SHUBERT ORGANIZATION was responsible for more than TEN THOUSAND  TICKETS over a twenty-one year association.

FCM Ralph Slane

THAT’S THE STORY

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2 Comments

  1. Bobby Kaiser

     /  February 19, 2016

    Any pics. from the 1988 Fleet Week including the U.S.S. America in the photos. I was in the crew on board the America CVA-66.

    Reply
    • Bobby, thanks for asking … personally, I don’t have any pics that you reference but I’ve contacted Mr. Ralph Slane who was involved with Fleet Week 1988. Mr. Slane was responsible for taking sailors & Marines out to dinner that year. This started as a small group & eventually grew to Mr. Slane hosting two hundred Sailors & Marines to dinner every year since 1988. He also bought 50 tickets to PHANTOM of the OPERA for 3 to 4 years for the troops and the theater gave an equal number or more. Finally the Shubert Organization came to the rescue & provided free Broadway Theater tickets since 1991 to the present. In 2011, they arranged for 560 tickets. More than half were orchestra seats. Of course, this info and more is posted in the article you reference that can be found at https://cv11texfcm.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/the-story-of-fleetweek-in-new-york/ . If Mr. Slane can provide any pictures in question, I will be sure to post. Thank you for you support of my Blog.

      Reply

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