If you’ve been following along, you know I can’t pass up the chance to crawl around on a ship. Well, Buffalo has a little gem tucked away near downtown. The Buffalo & Erie County Naval And Military Park hosts two very well preserved ships USS The Sullivans and USS Little Rock and the submarine USS Croaker. All three were initially built in the early ’40s and served into the ’70s.
The USS Little Rock was built as a light cruiser CL-42 in 1943. In 1957 she was converted into a Talos missile cruiser CLG-4. The Little Rock carried up to 50 of these bad boys with conventional and nuclear warheads in internal magazines. The missiles were loaded in pieces, then assembled on the ship before firing.
The USS Croaker SS-246 was commissioned in 1944, sailed on six patrols and sank 11 Japanese ships. In 1953 she was converted to a Hunter/Killer SSK-246.
A shot of the Croaker’s control room for you submarine control room fans:
And a nice firearms display in the Little Rock:
The one on top looks like a M1903 Springfield to me, but it wasn’t labeled and I didn’t break the glass to get a closer look. The others are, of course, the M1 Garand, the M1 Carbine and the M1911 Colt.
Crew accommodations on The Sullivans:
My back hurts just looking at it.
I’ve said before, I have nothing but respect for the sailors and Marines who crewed these ships. Living conditions were abysmal compared to modern ships, yet they sucked it up and got the job done.
All three ships are open to the public for self guided tours. If you live near Buffalo, or visit the area I highly recommend stopping by for a visit. If you’re a Marine make sure you sign the register in the Marine berthing space on the USS Little Rock.