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First Coast

Naval Museum Ship USS Orleck Could Head To Jacksonville — If It Passes Inspection

USS Orleck
Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA)
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USS Orleck

Jacksonville is set to welcome the USS Orleck, a naval museum ship that while in service was awarded 18 battle stars, enough to make it the most decorated post-World War II ship ever built.

The Jacksonville City Council this week voted unanimously to approve the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association’s (JHNSA) plan to bring the 390-foot ship to the city to form the Jacksonville Naval Museum. The ship is currently in Texas but is expected to arrive by the week of November 11, Veterans Day.

But the Jacksonville Naval Museum faces one more battle. Inspections are required to ensure the ship can make the 10-day tow trek from Texas to Florida. If the ship’s hull is too damaged to be restored in the JHNSA’s price range, the Orleck Association and JHNSA may decide to scrap the ship.

If inspections are passed, the museum in Jacksonville will focus on the “U.S. Navy Cold War Experience,” as the USS Orleck was in service during the Korean War, Vietnam War and Cold War. 

The museum is also meant to serve as a gathering place for naval associations, crew reunions, and military conventions. The JHNSA will also provide support for veterans out of the ship.

 
Tristan Wood can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @TristanDWood.