The Navy destroyer arrives in Jacksonville for its new mission as a museum.
Escorted by a fireboat and witnessed by a crowd along the St. Johns River Downtown, the USS Orleck arrived in Jacksonville on March 26.
The decommissioned Cold War-era Navy destroyer is tied up along the Northbank Riverwalk near the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront awaiting completion of its permanent berth at the Shipyards property, where it will be a naval warship museum.
The arrival was the culmination of more than 10 years of work by the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association.
Originally, the association negotiated with the Navy to take ownership of the USS Charles F. Adams, a guided missile destroyer that played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
After those negotiations broke down, the association was contacted by officials in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the Orleck was a financially struggling floating museum and its supporters were looking for a new home.
In consideration of the time and money put into the project by the association’s board members, and a $1 million state grant, City Council approved moving the Orleck to Jacksonville.
The final leg of the Orleck’s voyage took it to a shipyard in Texas, where about $2.3 million was invested to refurbish the warship and tow it to Jacksonville.
Plans for the museum include a gift shop and ticket office.