Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park
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|Established||July 4, 1979|
|Location||Buffalo, New York (Canalside District)|
|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.
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 the Croaker underwent a refit.
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. A new synergy has come to Buffalo's Waterfront, known as Canalside, and the Naval Park abuts the historic Commercial Slip. New structures were added including a new museum, and the new Liberty Hound restaurant opened in the summer of 2012.
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 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.