Chief Mario Roy of US Coast Guard to be honored as first visitor of 2023
Opening day at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park is on Saturday, March 25, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Joining the Naval Park for the ribbon-cutting will be U.S Coast Guard Chief Mario Roy, who will be honored as the first official visitor of the season.
Roy was first active at the Naval Park as part of the Coast Guard response to the partial sinking incident of USS The Sullivans in April 2022. He began volunteering at the Naval Park immediately after the incident to paint the deck of The Sullivans so that it could be reopened to the public.
A press release said, “He has become a great asset to the Naval Park, assisting with numerous projects including the restoration of the admiral’s quarters on USS Little Rock and fixing display lights on USS Croaker.”
Most recently, Roy took an active role in reenergizing the electrical distribution panel aboard USS The Sullivans for the first time since the partial sinking incident, a feat that some questioned was even possible. The main electrical panel was fully immersed in water and required extensive cleaning and reassembly in a step-by-step process to safely test and restore the equipment. Thanks to his efforts, power will be available through the ship’s original 1943 electrical system again.
Several major projects have been completed at the Naval Park over the winter to maintain and improve each of the ships and to open new spaces on the tour route. New add-on tours will be introduced this year that will take visitors to the guided weapons control area above the Missile House on USS Little Rock for the first time.
The Naval Park plans to celebrate the 80th anniversary of USS The Sullivans throughout the year with a series of programs and events to highlight the history of the ship, and to raise awareness about the ongoing long-term preservation efforts. The ship was launched on April 4, 1943, and christened by Alleta Sullivan, the mother of the five Sullivan brothers, less than five months after they were killed in action at the Battle of Guadalcanal. The ship was commissioned on Sept. 30, 1943.
For the 2023 season, the Naval Park will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last ticket sold at 4 p.m.
More About the Buffalo and Erie County Military & Naval Park
The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the nation’s largest inland naval park and the home of four U.S. Naval vessels: USS The Sullivans, USS Little Rock, USS Croaker and PTF-17. Located on Buffalo’s waterfront, this unique family destination is committed to its mission, which is to honor, educate, inspire and preserve. The Buffalo Naval & Military Park also features a museum, U.S. military exhibits, and a beautifully manicured Veterans Park with 15 monuments and memorials dedicated to those who served this country.
More information about the Buffalo Naval Park is available at www.BuffaloNavalPark.org.