Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Trip to the Naval Park

On Sunday Mark, Annabelle and I went to visit the Buffalo and Erie County Naval Park.  Now I know that most people that live here in Buffalo have visited the Naval Park at one point or another in their lives, boy/girl scouts, school field trips, etc. but I had not ever been.  I know, tragic.  So I thought it seemed fitting that we should go and tour the ships that fought for our country's freedom on Fourth of July Weekend. 

Now first off, we thought it would take an hour, maybe an hour and a half tops to go through the 3 ships.  Boy, were we wrong.  We weren't dawdling through.  We didn't stop at each little placard describing all the rooms, twists and turns and artifacts that we passed, but a little over 3 hours, one blister on poor Annabelle's foot and me losing my flip flop later and we finally finished.  We left the house around 11am and got home at 3 pm.  Needless to say we were all hot, a little bit cranky and basically starving to death! 

OK I'm going to put a little bit of history here and if you're not interested, please skip ahead to the photos.

First we went through the 2 museums set up, honoring local War Veterans.  They both dealt mainly with WWII.  After that we toured the USS The Sullivans, named after 5 brothers who lost their lives when the naval ship they were on, sunk off the Solomon Islands.  The Sullivans is supposed to be haunted by on of the brothers, George.  Pictures of George aren't supposed to turn out but all of mine did.  Plus there is the random sightings of a naval crewman on board, that conveniently disappears and all kinds of scary bangs and noises.  We didn't encounter any of it fortunately/unfortunately.

The second ship was the USS Little Rock.  This ship is the biggest of the 3 boats, holding 1400  enlisted men, officers and marines.  Because it had the most space, there were lots of rooms dedicated to different military divisions and background information about the Korean War.

The last ship is the USS Croaker, which is a submarine.  It is small, miniature.  I can't imagine over 80 men living on this sub during WWII, but they did. 

An outside view of the 3 ships.  the Sullivans is the one farthest to the left, the Little Rock is in the middle and the Croaker is front-most on the right.

Posing on the map of Western New York.

They had an army tent/camp set up with some pieces of clothing to dress up in, old army trunks with provisions inside, maps, and personal effects of local war heroes from WWII.

I had to take a picture of the Air Force clothing.  My grandfather was a tail-gunner on the B-17 planes during WWII.  I have always been immensely proud of his small role in keeping our country safe and free.

This plane was built nearby in Niagara Falls for the War.

The propellers from The Sullivans.  They were HUGE!

Playing with guns.

Working hard!

She's got the guns.

The stairs were super steep and this was the only way Annabelle would go up or down them.  It's a good thing her Daddy loves her so much:)

These were the bunks on the ships.  It reminded me of Dachau, one of the concentration camps in Germany.

I love me a water fountain, even if they don't work.  It is called a scuttlebutt on the ships.  I don't know why.

More guns and Annabelle hanging like a monkey.

Pretending to wash her hands in the company bathroom.

Heading onto the next boat.  I love her pose, the little popped foot, the dress.  Too cute!

Long range missiles.

An enlisted man's locker.

Once we found out about her blister, she got some extra carrying around by Daddy.

She makes the funniest faces.  Do you think they just ordered a bomb to be deployed?

You could look through the periscope and see the inner harbor and light house.

These were the nice rooms.

The hatches between the rooms were only about 4 feet high and 3 feet wide.

A shark bomb.
Overall we learned a lot of interesting things, saw some neat ships and learned that it takes a lot of time to get through everything.  But if you're ever in the neighborhood, check it out,  If you're a history buff like me, you'll love it!

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