Fort Hamilton prepares to welcome the fleet

The 36th annual celebration of Fleet Week gets underway early Wednesday morning, May 22, when a parade of military ships steams up the bay past Fort Hamilton, proceeds under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and enters New York Harbor.

Once again, the flagship USS Bataan (LHD-5), a Navy amphibious assault ship, will be making a return voyage to New York. When the ship reaches Fort Hamilton, she will be greeted by an 11-gun salute from the Army base’s Howitzer cannons positioned along the shoreline. In keeping with naval tradition, the Bataan will fire a return salute. This year’s commemoration of Fleet Week will run from May 22 to 27.

USS Marinette. U.S. Navy Photo

Participating vessels will include USS Marinette (LCS 25), littoral combat ship; Coast Guard cutters USCGC Sturgeon Bay (WTGB-109), USCGC Calhoun (WMSL-759) and USCGC Katherine Walker (WLM-552); four Naval Academy Yard Patrol boats and two ships from Germany, FGS Baden-Wurttemberg (F-22), a frigate, and FGS Frankfurt am Main (A-1412), a replenishment ship.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
A New York Naval Militia emergency boat. DMNA Photo

According to Ray Aalbue, chairman of the United Military Veterans of Kings County, they hope to have sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from the Fleet Week ships marching in Brooklyn’s 157th Memorial Day Parade on May 27.


The New York Naval Militia Armory at First Avenue and 52nd Street. Photo courtesy of Tony Giordano

The Society of Old Brooklynites’ March meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall included a PowerPoint presentation on the New York Naval Militia. Very few people are familiar with the fact that New York State has its own small Navy. And for many years, one of its major units was based at the NYS Militia Armory on 52nd Street and First Avenue in Brooklyn. Nowadays, this seagoing outfit patrols the major waterways up and down the state. In a future article we hope to detail some interesting historical information about this unique armory facility that was around for about 75 years.

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