Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park
|Established||July 4, 1979|
|Location||Canalside, Buffalo, New York|
|Public transit access||NFTA Metro Rail (Erie Canal Harbor)|
The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, formerly known as The Buffalo Naval and Servicemen's Park, is a museum on the shore of Lake Erie in Buffalo, New York. It is home to several decommissioned US Naval vessels, including the Cleveland-class cruiser USS Little Rock, the Fletcher-class destroyer USS The Sullivans, and the submarine USS Croaker. All three are open to the public for tours.
In 1976 the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency and the Buffalo Naval and Servicemen's Park requested the United States Department of the Navy supply a decommissioned naval vessel to construct a naval park. The construction of the Buffalo Naval and Servicemen's Park (later named the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park) started in 1977. The park was opened to the public on July 4, 1979. The Cleveland-class cruiser USS Little Rock and the Fletcher-class destroyer USS The Sullivans were part of the original display. In 1988 the Gato-class submarine USS Croaker was added. In 1989 Croaker underwent a refit. The ships in the park remain property of the United States Navy, which inspects them annually.
The park has gone through a few major changes in recent years. In 2003 the ships were moved slightly to the foot of Pearl and Main streets. The park now abuts Buffalo's Canalside and the historic Commercial Slip within it. New structures were added including a new museum, and the new Liberty Hound restaurant opened in the summer of 2012.
On December 16, 2017 USS Little Rock (LCS-9) was commissioned at the park alongside its namesake USS Little Rock (CG-4). The commissioning was the first time a United States Naval vessel was commissioned alongside its namesake.
Along with the ships, there are a variety of smaller vehicles, vessels, and aircraft are also on display at the park. These include the Gyrodyne X-Ron 1 Rotorcycle one-man helicopter used by the US Marine Corps in the late fifties and early sixties, an Army M41 Walker Bulldog tank used in the Korean War, a Marine Corps M-84 Armored personnel carrier, a UH-1 Huey flown in Vietnam, an Air Force F-101 Voodoo flown by the New York Air National Guard's 136th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, a Nasty-class Fast Patrol Boat (PTF) used by the Navy in Vietnam, a Navy FJ Fury (FJ-4) jet (equivalent to the Air Force's F-86 Sabre), and a USAAF P-39 Airacobra manufactured at Bell Aircraft in Buffalo which saw service in World War II. The sail and rudder of the submarine USS Boston are also on display here.
- Goldman, Mary Kunz (July 7, 2017). "100 Things: Visit ships at the Naval & Military Park – The Buffalo News". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "ERIE CANAL DISCOVERY: Buffalo's Inner Harbor". Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. September 5, 2008. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "Events wrapping up ahead of USS Little Rock's commissioning". The Associated Press. December 15, 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "USS Little Rock arrives in NY in advance of commissioning". The Associated Press. December 4, 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "Military equipment, vehicles and history in Buffalo, NY". Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "Park hours and admission, Naval Museum Buffalo, NY". Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
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