Buffalo Main Light -- ca. 1833

Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park

U.S.S. The Sullivans (DD-537)

HISTORY (quoted from Museum Tour Brochure)

"U.S.S The Sullivans was launched in San Francisco on 4 April 1943.  The Ship's namesake, the five Sullivan brothers, enlisted in the Navy and served together aboard the light cruiser U.S.S. Juneau (CL-52).  On 13 November 1942, while fighting off Guadalcanal, the five brothers died along with 700 other sailors when the U.S.S. Juneau was sunk by a Japanese submarine.  President Roosevelt directed that one of the new Fletcher-class destroyers, then under construction, be named after the five brothers.  She is the first Navy destroyer ever named after more than one person.  The ship sported the Shamrock of Ireland on her forward stack and sailed into World War Two with 14 crewmembers named Sullivan.  She fought in the Marshalls, Carolines, Marianas, and the Philippines, rescuing many survivors from downed planes and damaged or sinking ships.  She never lost a man in battle.  The Sullivans also served in the Korean War, the Cuban Blockade, and assisted in the rescue efforts of the nuclear submarine Thresher.  In 1977, The Sullivans arrived in Buffalo for display and was redesignated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.  In 1987, The Sullivans passed her famous name and heritage on to a new Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer, U.S.S. The Sullivans, DDG-68."

Launched: 4 April 1943

Name /Class: Fletcher-class Destroyer

Decommissioned: 7 January 1965

Museum Ship Since: 1977

Displacement: 2,150 tons

Length: 376.5 feet

Beam: 39.8 feet

Draft: 17.8 feet

Power: 60,000 hp

Speed: 35 knots

Range: 6,500 miles @ 15 knots

Crew: 330 (20 officers & 290 enlisted)


- 5 x 5-inch/38 calibre guns

- 10 x 40mm AA guns

- 7 x 20mm AA guns

- 10 x 21-inch torpedo tubes

- 6 x K-gun depth charge throwers

- 2 x depth charge racks


Marshall Islands Operation (January 29-February 8, 1944)

Asiatic Pacific Raids (February 16-7, March 30-April 1, April 29-May 1, 1944)

Hollandia Operation (April-June, 1944)

Marianas Operation (June 11-24, July 3-4, July 12-August 15, 1944)

Western Caroline Islands Operation (September 6-October 14, 1944)

Leyte Operation (October 10-26, 1944)

Luzon Operation (January 3-February 15, 1945) 

Iwo Jima Operation (February 16- March 4, 1945)

Okinawa Gunto Operation (March 17-May 28, 1945)


Korean Defense, Summer-Fall 1952 (October 13-November 30, 1952)

Third Korean Winter (December 1, 1952-January 10, 1953)

U.S.S. Little Rock (CL-92)

HISTORY (quoted from Museum Tour Brochure)

"U.S.S. Little Rock was the first ship to bear the name of the Arkansas state capital.  Her keel was laid 6 March 1943 and she was launched 27 August 1944 as CL-92, a light cruiser.  After commissioning in June of 1945, Little Rock joined the fleet and conducted deployments until decommissioned in 1949.  On 30 January 1957, Little Rock entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for conversion to a guided missile cruiser.  On 4 June 1960 she was recommissioned as CLG-4, a "Talos" missile cruiser.  The Little Rock made four deployments to the Mediterranean and two to the North Atlantic.  She served as a flagship for the 2nd (Atlantic) and 6th (Mediterranean) Fleets.  Little Rock assumed 6th Fleet Flagship duties on 25 January 1967, homeported in Gaeta, Italy.  After a 3-and-a-half year deployment to the Mediterranean as a flagship, she was relieved on 24 August 1970.  After a six-month overhaul at the Boston Naval Shipyard, she returned to her homeport of Newport, Rhode Island.  Little Rock made one more extended Mediterranean deployment, and was decommissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 22 November 1976.  She is the only guided missile cruiser on display in the United States.  The proud name of Little Rock has been passed on to one of the Navy's newest class of ship, the littoral combat ship U.S.S. Little Rock (LCS-9)."

Launched: 27 August 1944

Name /Class: Cleveland-class Light Cruiser

Decommissioned: 22 November 1976

Museum Ship Since: 1977

Displacement: 11,932 tons

Length: 610.1 feet

Beam: 66.3 feet

Draft: 25.5 feet

Power: 100,000 hp

Speed: 32.5 knots

Range: 11,000 miles @ 15 knots

Crew: 1,400 (150 officers, 1100 enlisted, & 150 marines)

Armor: 6" maximum


- 4 × triple 6"/47 caliber Mark 16 guns

- 6 × dual 5"/38 caliber AA guns

- 4 × quad 40mm Bofors AA guns

- 6 × dual 40mm Bofors AA guns

- 21 × 20mm Oerlikon AA cannons

- 1 × twin-rail Mark 7 Talos SAM launcher, 46 missiles (post-1960 rebuild)


Flagship of the Sixth Fleet 1969-1970

U.S.S. Croaker (SS-246)

HISTORY (quoted from Museum Tour Brochure)

"The U.S.S. Croaker's keel was laid on 1 April 1943 by Electric Boat, and launched on 19 December 1943 in Groton, Connecticut as SS-246.  She was commissioned into the U.S. Navy on 21 April 1944.  U.S.S. Croaker made six World War Two war patrols in the Pacific, claiming 11 Japanese vessels sunk, including the Japanese light cruiser, the Nagara.  She was awarded three battle stars for her service.  The submarine was decommissioned on 15 June 1946 and then recommissioned 11 December 1953 as SSK-246 under the Hunter/Killer conversion program.  This involved the installation of long range bow sonar, a new sail with a snorkel mast, machinery noise reduction, and the removal of all deck guns.  Routine deployments were made to the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean until Croaker was placed out of service in 1968.  Utilized as a Naval Reserve trainer from 1968-1971, the boat was stricken 20 December 1971 from the Navy register.  On 27 June 1976, Croaker was transferred to the Submarine Memorial Association of Groton, Connecticut.  The Croaker continues to serve as a memorial submarine with her arrival in Buffalo on 22 November 1988.  To make the submarine safer and more aesthetically pleasing, the Naval and Military Park staff replaced her entire deck and support systems in 1989.  On 12 September 2008, Croaker was placed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places."

Launched: 19 December 1943

Name /Class: Gato-class Diesel-electric Submarine

Decommissioned: 2 April 1968

Museum Ship Since: 27 June 1976

Displacement: 1,525 tons (surfaced), 2,424 tons (submerged)

Length: 311.8 feet

Beam: 27.3 feet

Draft: 17.0 feet

Power: 5,400 hp (surfaced), 2,740 hp (submerged)

Speed: 21 knots (surfaced), 9 knots (submerged)

Range: 11,000 miles @ 10 knots (surfaced)

Crew: 81 (7 officers, 74 enlisted)

Test Depth: 300 feet


- 10 × 21" torpedo tubes (6 forward, 4 aft;  24 torpedoes)

- 1 × 3"/50 caliber deck gun

- 1 x Bofors 40mm cannon

- 1 x Oerlikon 20mm cannon


First Patrol (July 19-August 31, 1944)

Second Patrol (September 23-November 10, 1944)

Fifth Patrol (May 15-June 5, 1945)


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