It’s time for the Frozen Foursome+ to meet up, and take in some championship hockey. This year’s title game is in Buffalo, New York. I arrived a bit early, to take in the western New York sites.
One of my first stops, was at The Naval and Military Park in Buffalo, which opened in June 1979. At their dock, they have the USS Croaker, USS The Sullivans, and the USS Little Rock.
USS The Sullivans was launched out of San Francisco in April 1943.
The five Sullivan brothers enlisted in the Navy and served together on the light cruiser, USS Juneau. While fighting off the coast of Guadalcanal, the five brothers died, along with 700 of their shipmates, when a Japanese submarine sank the Juneau.
President Roosevelt ordered that one of the new destroyers under construction be named after the Sullivan brothers. It was the first Navy destroyer to be named after more than one person.
USS The Sullivans sailed into WWII with 14 crewmembers named Sullivan. The Sullivans fought in the Marshalls, Carolines, Marianas, and the Philippines. She never lost a man in battle, and went on to serve in the Korean War and the Cuban Blockade.
The Sullivans arrived in Buffalo in 1977, and was designated a national historic landmark in 1986. In 1997, the name The Sullivans was passed onto a new class of destroyer carrying the heritage forward.
The USS Little Rock, a Cleveland class, light cruiser, was launched in August 1944. She was decommissioned in 1949. In January 1957, the Little Rock entered the Philadelphia Naval Yard for a conversion to a guided missile cruiser. In June 1960, she was recommissioned and re-entered service.
The Little Rock saw service throughout the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. She was decommissioned for a final time in November 1976. The Little Rock name was passed onto a new class of ship, the littoral combat ship.
The submarine, the USS Croaker, was launched in December of 1943. The Croaker made six WWII patrols, sinking 11 Japanese vessels, including the light cruiser, Nagara. She received three battle stars for her service.
The Croaker was recommissioned under the Hunter/Killer program in 1953. Deployments were made to the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean until 1968. From 1968 to 1971, the Croaker served as a Naval Reserve trainer. In 1988, the USS Croaker arrived in Buffalo. It has been placed on the National & New York State registers of historic places.