The USS The Sullivans (DD-537), a 78-year-old Fletcher-Class destroyer that saw action in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War, is an anchor waterfront attraction. Unfortunately, in recent years, the decommissioned destroyer has been suffering at the hands of Mother Nature.
Over the last few months, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park has been working towards raising funds to repair the hull of the ship, in order to prevent her from further listing and potentially sinking.
Thankfully, the WNY community has come to the rescue, and currently there is special equipment, barges, and divers at the site, tackling the repairs.
USS The Sullivans is named in honor of the five Sullivan brothers who, serving together on the light cruiser USS Juneau, were all killed in action on its sinking around November 13, 1942.
“We are excited and relieved that today we have ‘divers in the water’ and repair work has begun in earnest to save this historic ship,” commented Paul Marzello, president and CEO for the Buffalo Naval Park.
Work is being performed by BIDCO Marine Group, a locally owned specialty marine contractor.
“BIDCO previously conducted a full bow-to-stern survey of the hull and developed the repair plan that includes applying a two-part epoxy coating to the entire hull below the waterline and the installation of a cathodic protection system that will prevent further corrosion of the USS The Sullivans, the USS Little Rock and the USS Croaker,” added Marzello.
Since the fundraising efforts began, $535,000 has been raised towards the one million dollar goal. An additional $465,000 in funding is required by October 31, to ensure the full and proper work load is completed on the ship, before winter sets in.
The Campaign team is calling upon the general public, foundations, corporations, and government entities, to help raise the remaining funds.
Contributions to the Save the Sullivans campaign can be made securely online at SAVETHESULLIVANS.ORG or by mailing to Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, ATTN: Save the Sullivans, One Naval Cove, Buffalo, New York, 14202, or by calling the park directly at 716-847-1773, EXT 10.
Lead image courtesy Buffalo Naval Park