USS Little Rock
Since I was a kid I've been fascinated with the USS Little Rock in downtown Buffalo. When I was about 10 years old, my cub scout troop stayed overnight on the ship and to this day I remember how special that experience was. I'll never forget how tight the quarters were inside the ship and wondering how sailors could possibly live on this boat for months on end during wartime.
Here's a bit of history on the USS Little Rock from buffalonavalpark.org: 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.