Fireboats blast water in air to greet museum ship now docked in front of the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel.
The USS Orleck arrived in Jacksonville March 26 at its temporary home along the Jacksonville Riverwalk near the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel.
A line of onlookers along the riverbank cheered as the Orleck was pushed into place by a tug boat just before 1 p.m. and the U.S. flag was raised on its bow, Daily Record news partner News4Jax.com reported.
The arrival featured fireboats shooting water into the air as the Orleck paraded in.
Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association agreed to acquire the Orleck after years of trying to bring other ships the city as a museum, including the USS Adams.
A permanent home is planned at the Jacksonville Shipyards west of the demolished Berkman Plaza II, where a sign says “coming soon – Future home of the USS Orleck Museum Ship.” There are plans for a ticket office, gift shop and a park that could include naval aircraft on display.
The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association said the goal is to open the ship in June to help celebrate the city’s bicentennial.
The Orleck was in service in the U.S. from 1945 to 1982. In 2010, it opened as a museum in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Named after Lt. Joseph Orleck, the ship was called the “Top Gun” of Vietnam. The Orleck crew fired more than 11,000 rounds, earning it the nickname, “Grey Ghost of the Vietnam Coast.”
The Orleck is the most-decorated post-World War II ship and received 14 battle stars and dozens of awards.
The Jacksonville City Council signed off Aug. 10 on the association’s plan to bring the USS Orleck DD-886 to Downtown Jacksonville as a naval museum. The Council voted 17-0 to approve a 10-year development agreement between the association and the Downtown Investment Authority to move the warship to Pier No. 1 adjacent to the Berkman Marina at the Shipyards along the St. Johns River.
The Orleck was inspected and underwent $2.05 million of repairs and preservation work in Texas.
Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association is seeking donations and volunteers for the Orleck museum.
For more information, visit jaxnavalmuseum.org.
Be the first to know the latest breaking news and information that business leaders rely on in this fast-paced changing Northeast Florida economy. Regional business news, trends and statistics needed to grow your business. Key upcoming events you won’t want to miss and much more. Click Here to Grow your Business NOW!