"Citizens in Support of the Sea Services"

The Newport Council of the Navy League was formed July 29, 1957. The original membership consisted of a diverse group of individuals.  Founding members included: 

Rabbi Theodore Lewis ,Turo Synagogue

Rev L Ballard, Trinity Church

Father Peter McGuire

Milton Mitler, owner WADK

Pat Rooney, from JT's

Essig Young, Director Navy YMCA

William Gosling Credit Manager JT's

Joe Macioci, Lawyer

Andrew Stone, Dept Store Owner

R Kelley Sheriday, Manager Acacia Life Ins

George Harrison. Owner Harrison ford

Ned Sherman, Owner Newport Daily News

E J Tiernan, Capt US Navy Retired

Gustave J S White

Dean Lewis, Lawyer and former PT Boat Skipper

J.T O'Connell

Leonard Scalzi, Manager Viking Hotel

Leonard Runin, Owner Newport Furniture.

Dr Charles Dotterer, Physician

Otis Ganong, Contractor

Ned McGrath, Manager Retail Credit Co, now Equifax.

 

The Newport Council was sponsored by the Navy League Council, Southeastern Mass.

The Newport Council first met at the Boardroom at the Old Navy YMCA at Washington Square. The Council got organized and started working with the Navy right away. The first support to the Navy was supporting graduations on base. The first Annual Dinner was held and officers were elected.

After pier 2 was built there was a Northeast storm and all the ships had to move, because of damage at the piers. They went out to Anchorages in the bay. The Admiral commanding the Atlantic Cruiser-Destroyer Force three times asked for a breakwater to protect the piers. He was turned down three times by congress. Adm Burke, then CNO, told the local Admiral to cool it. It was embarrassing to the Navy and was not going to be approved.  The Admiral invited the council out to dinner and explained the problem. The council then contacted Senator Pastore, who was the key contact and all the other Members of Congress from Rhode Island. The Newport Council then solicited and received support from the Connecticut and Southeastern Mass Councils. The breakwater was approved by Congress and the Newport Council was established as a can do organization.

The Sea Cadets were organized in the late 1950's with 200 cadets meeting every Friday night at the reserve center on the base. The base Marine Barracks supported the Sea Cadets with a Marine teaching marching to half of the cadets while the other 100 cadets would go to class. At end of the first hour they switched. When the marine corporal who was working with the Sea Cadets was due to transfer, a retired marine officer who was a member of the Newport Navy League wrote a letter of thanks which was included in his record. He made Sgt the next month. It quickly got to be known at the Marine Barracks, if you wanted to make Sgt, work with the Navy League Sea Cadets.

Since its inception the Newport Council of the Navy League has continued to provide active support to the Navy in Rhode Island.

 

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