Orleck completes first phase of journey; undergoing cleaning, inspection

Published 12:59 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The USS Oreleck has safely been towed to Port Arthur, Texas, and is being cleaned and inspected to ensure it can make the journey to the Jacksonville, Fla., Historic Naval Ship Association.

The Orleck, which has been docked in Lake Charles since 2010, was towed to Gulf Copper’s Central Yard in Port Arthur, Texas, last week and has been floated into Gulf Copper’s WW2-era GC-2500 floating drydock.

The docking evolution is expected to take about 3 to 4 hours, after which shipyard workers will begin Phase 1 of the project by washing down the hull, according to Ron Williams, USS Orleck Naval Museum executive director.

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Cleaning the hull will provide the USS Orleck Naval Museum and Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association JHNSA representatives an initial look at the condition of the hull. Gauging sections of the hull for a more thorough look is scheduled to follow, Williams said.
The goal is to evaluate the hull to determine if the Orleck is fit for the lengthy tow to Jacksonville and to see if repairs needed can be completed within JHNSA’s budget to continue to serve as a historical museum ship in Jacksonville.
JHNSA plans to make DD-886 the flagship of their proposed Jacksonville Naval Museum on the St. John River downtown.
The floating drydock being used to clean, inspect, and repair Orleck is the ex-USS AFDM-2 (YFD-4) that was built for the US Navy in Mobile, Ala., by Alabama Ship Building and Dry Dock Company. It was operated by Todd Shipyards of New Orleans to repair ships during World War II.