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Naval Park honors South Buffalo native for heroism

Photo courtesy of http://mccluskymidwayhero.blogspot.com

The Buffalo Naval and Military Park unveiled a sculpture and plaque Sunday morning to commemorate Buffalo native C. Wade McClusky’s heroic actions during World War II.

McClusky led his group’s dive bombers against Japanese naval forces at the Battle of Midway. Running low on fuel, he risked going beyond the point of no return to locate the Japanese. McClusky found the enemy and directed attacks which destroyed two Japanese fleet carriers.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain Brian Roche  says the Midway battle was a turning point in the Pacific theater.

"After Pearl Harbor, the US Navy was significantly hurt because so many ships were damaged," Roche said. "We were able to inflict significant damage to a number of Japanese vessels during the Midway battle."

Roche says they are always looking to find more local heroes who haven’t been recognized. He says those who discover a loved one's deeds can contact the Naval Park via http://buffalonavalpark.org.

"We'll highlight Western New Yorkers who performed in heroic fashion in some type of combat or conflict," Roche added.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.