USS The Sullivans will receive $7.5 million in federal funding for much-needed repairs.
The US warship, which is named after the five Irish American brothers who were killed on the same day while serving together in the US Navy during World War II, partially sank in April 2022 at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park in New York where it is now a museum.
US Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced on December 20 that the must-pass end-of-year spending bill will include the funding needed for repairs of the iconic WWII Western New York landmark.
Senator Schumer promised federal support for the sinking warship when he visited Buffalo in April last year.
“I stood in front of the USS The Sullivans as it started to sink into the harbor and promised I would get all hands on deck to get the funding we needed to restore this pride and joy for Buffalo, our veterans, and strong Irish American community," said Senator Schumer.
"I am proud to say a promise made is now a promise kept, and funding will soon be on the way to help restore this iconic Western New York landmark, which honors the tragic loss of the five Sullivan brothers."
Earlier this year, I promised to help restore the USS The Sullivans, which was sinking in Buffalo's Naval Park.
Now, I'm happy we'll deliver $7.5M to fund the repairs for this iconic WWII WNY landmark.
Full steam ahead for the USS The Sullivans! pic.twitter.com/ZTBt8VoiCu— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 20, 2022
The funding will go to ensuring the long-term structural integrity of the hull of the ship and making repairs to the hull and interior that were severely damaged which caused the ship to fill with water early last year.
Specifically, $2.5 million of the funding will come from the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund and $5 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Fund as congressionally directed spending.
“This investment will secure the USS Sullivans place in Buffalo’s Naval and Military Park for generations to come,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “I want to thank Senator Schumer for securing this funding to preserve the Jewel of the City’s Buffalo Naval and Military Park for all to enjoy.”
Paul J. Marzello Sr., President & CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, said: “We are extremely grateful to Senator Schumer for his commitment to Saving the Sullivans. As a National Historic Landmark, her value extends beyond the boundaries of the WNY community.
"Her value is measured in the lives of the five Sullivan brothers who the ship is named after and every Veteran who has ever served this nation. With gratitude from all, thank you for providing the funding to help preserve this ship for generations to come”
The five Sullivan brothers died on November 13, 1942, when the ship they were stationed on, the USS Juneau, was struck during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
The USS The Sullivans was commissioned in 1943 and operated in the Pacific Theater during World War II. It is one of the remaining Fletcher-class destroyers left in the world.
The warship was decommissioned in 1965 and donated in 1977 to the City of Buffalo, where it remains a National Historic Landmark.