USS LITTLE ROCK
The Little Rock was the first ship to bear the name of Little Rock, Arkansas. The only guided missile cruiser on display in the U.S. today, the USS Little Rock is the sole survivor of the U.S. Navy’s World War II Cleveland class of light cruisers, the most abundant of all U.S. wartime cruisers (29 vessels total). Following the naming convention at the time, all cruisers were named for U.S. cities and towns.
The Little Rock made four cruises to the Mediterranean and two to the North Atlantic. She served with distinction as flagship for both the Second and Sixth fleets. Later converted to a guided missile cruiser. The Little Rock launched on August 27, 1944 and was commissioned on June 17, 1945 at the Cramp Shipbuilding Company in Philadelphia, Pa. The ship was then converted at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, N.J., in 1960, decommissioned in November 1976, and joined the Buffalo Naval Park in 1977.
Today the Little Rock, the largest ship in the Buffalo Naval Park fleet, plays an active part in numerous educational and entertainment activities such as our overnight encampment programs, fundraisers and other corporate events.
|CL-92, Later CLG-4|
|Armament:||1 twin-rail TALOS missile launcher; 3 6″ guns in a single turret; 2 5” guns in a single mount|
|Complement:||1,100 enlisted; 150 officers; 150 Marines|
USS THE SULLIVANS
The Sullivans is named in memory of five brothers who lost their lives during the Battle of the Solomon Islands in World War II (WWII), when their ship, The USS Juneau, sank in November 1942, killing 687 men in all. It is an excellent example of the Fletcher class, the largest and most important class of U.S. destroyers in WWII. These ships had a design speed of up to 38 knots, and the U.S. Navy commissioned 175 of them between 1942 and 1944. These versatile vessels served almost exclusively in the Pacific Theater (a series of battles in the Pacific Ocean), performing anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare as well as surface action. They could cover large distances and their armament included five, 5-inch guns in single mounts, with 10, 21-inch torpedoes in two quintuple-centerline mounts.
The Sullivans launched April 4, 1943 at Bethlehem Steel Corporation in San Francisco, Calif. The ship was commissioned on September 30, 1943, and served with distinction in WWII. It took part in intense combat in the Marshalls, Carolines, Mariannas, and Philippines, rescued many survivors from downed planes and damaged or sinking ships, and earned nine battle stars for her service. The Sullivans also served in the Korean War, the Cuban Blockade, and in the rescue efforts for the nuclear submarine, the USS Thresher. It was decommissioned in 1965 and joined the Buffalo Naval Park in 1977 along with the USS Little Rock.
|Armament:||Four 5-inch/38 caliber guns; one 3-inch/50 caliber gun; two twin-40 mm guns; depth charges|
|Complement:||290 enlisted; 20 officers|
The USS Croaker, a Gato-class submarine, was built as part of the effort to assemble a major submarine force just prior to and after the U.S. entry into World War II. The Croaker, named after the various species of fish that make throbbing or drumming noises, was sent to the Pacific to wage a war of attrition against Japan’s merchant marine and Navy. The Croaker had six WWII pacific war patrols, was awarded three battle stars, and claimed 11 Japanese vessels, including a cruiser, four tankers, two freighters, an ammunition ship, two escort craft and a minesweeper.
The Croaker launched on December 19, 1943 and was commissioned on April 21, 1944 at the Electric Boat Company, in Groton, Conn. After WWII, the Croaker was converted and recommissioned as SSK-246 in December 1953 under the Hunter-Killer conversion program with a streamlined sail, snorkel, long-range sonar, and machinery noise reduction. Routine cruises were made to the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean until the submarine was placed out of service in 1968. The submarine then participated in various submarine operations as a Naval Reserve trainer from 1968 to 1971 until decommissioned from the Navy Register in December 1971.
Today the Croaker is part of the Buffalo Naval Park fleet, a role she has played since 1988.
|SS-246, Later SSK-246|
|Armament:||Eight Mk-44 torpedo tubes|
|Complement:||74 enlisted; 7 officers|