Cramp Shipbuilding Co., located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, built the USS Little Rock CL-92. It was commissioned in the middle of June 1945 with Capt. William Miller as the first commander.
Service in the Caribbean and Middle East
The Little Rock’s first mission took it to South America. The cruise lasted for five months and the vessel returned to Norfolk upon completion of its tour. It then performed exercises for the next two months off the east coast of the United States as well as in the Caribbean. In June, it sailed to Europe, returning to Norfolk in September 1946.
The cruiser was reclassified in May 1957 to CLG-4 and underwent a conversion to a guided missile light cruiser. Its conversion included replacing its six-inch turrets with a Talos missile battery.Â Capt J.O. Phillips became the commander in June 1960 when the ship was re-commissioned. It left for training in the Caribbean to test fire its missiles in preparation of joining a fleet of ships.
From the years of 1961 to 1976, the Little Rock sailed to various locations. It then spent the next four years making annual trips to the Mediterranean. In 1975, the Little Rock joined the ceremony celebrating the reopening of the Suez Canal. During the ceremony, it was placed third in the line of ships and demonstrated the new United States commitment to peace in the Middle East.Â It then sailed to Alexandria, Egypt and to Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.
The Little Rock was decommissioned in the latter part of June 1949. It was removed from the Navy Register in 1976 when it was acquired by the City of Buffalo.Â The Little Rock is still open to the public as a museum, located at the Buffalo Naval & Military Park alongside the USS Croaker, USS Sullivan, and an assortment of other ships.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, naval cruisers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.