40th anniversary of Navy ships arrival in Buffalo

Posted at 9:09 PM, Jul 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-15 21:09:18-04

In July 1977, the USS Little Rock and USS The Sullivans arrived in Buffalo after a weeks-long trip from Philadelphia. A group of volunteers from Western New York served as crew members along the Naval ships for the journey and their efforts were honored in a ceremony at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park Saturday.

"Let us never forget," Frank Manuele said. He is the only living volunteer who helped transport the ships. He joined the other men in Montreal for the final leg of the journey. "They may not be here but they can never be forgotten."

Family members of some of the volunteers were present to recognize the work of their fathers, husbands and brothers.

"My dad was a tough guy and for him to say it made him a better man and it made the city a better city for what these guys did," Jim Sniadecki said about his father Leonard.

"He absolutely, absolutely loved that trip," Paul Bertini explained. His father, Michael, helped transport the ships to Buffalo. "Even as a 10-year-old kid, I could tell that he was honored to be on it."