Buffalo Naval and Military Museum
Monday, July 29, 2019 Tour (Bus Tour)
10:00am - 2:00pm
Buffalo Naval & Military Park * One Naval Park Cove * Buffalo, NY 14202 * (716) 847-1773 * https://buffalonavalpark.org/
Buses will leave Marriott at 10:00a from Parking Lot
Tour Runs from 10:30a - 12:30p (Food Available On-Site)
Buses will leave Buffalo Naval & Military Park at 1:15p
Buses will arrive at Marriott about 2:00p
Welcome to the Buffalo Naval & Military Park
USS LITTLE ROCK
The only guided missile cruiser on display in the U.S. today, the USS Little Rock is the sole survivor of the U.S. Navy’s World War II Cleveland class of light cruisers, the most abundant of all U.S. wartime cruisers (29 vessels total). She was the first US Navy ship to be named for Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock launched on August 27, 1944 and was commissioned on June 17, 1945, too late to see combat duty during World War II. After being placed in reserve in 1949, the ship was converted to a guided missile cruiser in 1960. The Little Rock made four cruises to the Mediterranean and two to the North Atlantic. She served with distinction as flagship for both the Second and Sixth fleets. She was decommissioned in November 1976 and joined the Buffalo Naval Park in 1977.
USS THE SULLIVANS
The Sullivans is named in memory of five brothers who lost their lives during the Battle of the Solomon Islands in World War II (WWII), when their ship, USS Juneau, sank in November 1942, killing 687 men in all. She is an excellent example of the Fletcher class, the largest and most important class of U.S. destroyers in WWII. These ships had a design speed of up to 38 knots, and the U.S. Navy commissioned 175 of them between 1942 and 1944. These versatile vessels served almost exclusively in the Pacific Theater, performing anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare as well as surface action. They could cover large distances and their armament included five, 5-inch guns in single mounts, with ten, 21-inch torpedoes. The Sullivan’s launched April 4, 1943, commissioned on September 30, 1943, and served with distinction in WWII. She took part in intense combat in the Marshalls, Carolines, Mariannas, and Philippines, rescued many survivors from downed planes and damaged or sinking ships, and earned nine battle stars for her service. The Sullivans also served in the Korean War and the Cuban Blockade. She was decommissioned in 1965 and joined the Buffalo Naval Park in 1977 along with the USS Little Rock.
The USS Croaker, a Gato-class submarine, was built as part of the effort to assemble a major submarine force just prior to and after the U.S. entry into World War II. The Croaker had six WWII pacific war patrols, was awarded three battle stars, and claimed 11 Japanese vessels, including a cruiser, four tankers, two freighters, an ammunition ship, two escort craft and a minesweeper. The Croaker launched on December 19, 1943 and was commissioned on April 21, 1944. After WWII, the Croaker was converted and recommissioned as SSK-246 in December 1953 under the Hunter-Killer conversion program with a streamlined sail, snorkel, long-range sonar, and machinery noise reduction. Routine cruises were made to the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean until the submarine was placed out of service in 1968. The submarine then participated in various submarine operations as a Naval Reserve trainer from 1968 to 1971 until decommissioned from the Navy Register in December 1971. Since 1988, Croaker has served as a museum ship at the Buffalo Naval Park.
Down the walkway at Canal side is the Edward M. Cotter, the oldest active fireboat in the world. It is located on the Buffalo River and has been fighting fires since 1900. The boat was named William S. Grattan at that time but was rebuilt and renamed Firefighter in 1953. A year later, the boat was renamed after Buffalo firefighter Edward Cotter, who had recently died. It has fought many fires, including a massive oil barge fire in 1928, the General Mills cereal factory fire in 1940 and the Maple Leaf Milling Company fire in Ontario in 1960. The Cotter's pumping capacity is equal to 11 pumper trucks. It is still used for water rescues and icebreaking.
The outdoor exhibits, gift shop, and museum are handicapped accessible, but the ships themselves are not. The ships are large, with hundreds of feet with narrow walkways, many stairs, etc... not at all convenient for those with difficulty walking long distances.
Information submitted by Larry & Patty Strong