Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park
Summer is full of cook-outs, enjoying the beautiful weather with friends and family, vacationing, and celebrating the multitude of freedoms that we are blessed with here in the United States of America. It is also a great time to celebrate and remember those who brought us these great freedoms. There were many sacrifices and major historical events that occurred to bring us to this beautiful summer.
I encourage you to to remember these sacrifices by visiting the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park located in the marina at the Waterfront at Canalside. The park is open every day from 10 am-5 pm April until October. It proudly boasts being ranked #4 on Trip Advisor’s list of ‘Best Things to do in Buffalo.
The Park features three different naval vessels: USS The Sullivans Destroyer, USS Croaker Submarine, and the USS Little Rock, guided missile cruiser. The Destroyer is named after five heroic siblings: George, Francis (‘Frank’), Joseph (‘Joe’), Madison (‘Matt’), and Albert (‘Al’) Sullivan from Waterloo, Iowa, who served on the USS Junea (CL-52) during World War II. The siblings agreed to serve for the US Navy on the promise that they would all serve together. In fact their family motto was: “We stick Together”. On November 13, 1942 the USS Junea was sunk. Thus in the Battle of Solomon Islands all five brothers lost their lives. The Solomon brothers are the first group to ever have a US Naval Vessel named after them.
USS The Sullivans 537 displayed at the Park is the second of the two ships named after them and exemplifies the largest and significant class of U.S. destroyers utilized in World War II. This particular vessel earned nine battle stars for service, rescued many a survivor from planes and ships that went down during war. She served in: Philippines, Carolines, Marshalls, Mariannas, Korean War, and the Cuban Blockade.
The second vessel is a submarine that is identified in the National Registry of Historic Places. The USS Croaker is 311 feet long and weighs 1,525 tons. She launched on December 19, 1943 to fight against the Japanese in World War II and was not decommissioned until December 20, 1971. During her service she earned 3 battle stars and claimed eleven enemy vessels.
The third vessel at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park is the USS Little Rock. This cruiser is well worth the tour. She is the only guided missile cruiser on display in the United States. She is also the sole survivor of the Cleveland class. The USS Little Rock was the first ship to bare the name of Little Rock, Arkansas. She is an impressive 610 feet long and weighs 10,670 tons.
Along with these three vessels, the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park also displays military aircrafts, tanks, and World War II artifacts in their history exhibits. Admission is only $10 for adults (17 years of age and older), $6 for seniors and children (5 years and younger). Please visit: www.BuffaloNavalPark.org for more details.
The Naval Park is located about thirty minutes from the Asa Ransom House, a 10-room Country Inn in Clarence. Some rooms have porch or balcony, all have private baths, most with fireplace. Dinner is served daily except Monday’s. Please view the rooms, menu and Inn at asaransom.com