Alabama has eyes on USS Orleck

Fundraiser trying to keep naval museum in Lake Charles

By Gena Latrell
glatrell@americanpress.com

An official with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said they are in “early talks” about moving the USS Orleck naval ship from its current location off Enterprise Boulevard in Lake Charles.

“We haven’t bought it, but I have talked to a contractor about the possibility of it moving here,” said Craig Newton, coordinator of the Alabama Marine Resources Division’s Artificial Reefs Program, based in Dauphin Island, Ala.

But Ron Williams, executive director of the USS Orleck Naval Museum, said they are trying to raise $350,000 to “Save the Orleck” and keep it “a permanent fixture in Lake Charles.” The fundraiser, which runs through Dec. 31, has generated more than $71,000, according to the Orleck’s website.

Newton said the Orleck is “one of 50 ships” the department is looking to acquire.

A decorated destroyer commissioned in 1945 during World War II, the USS Orleck sailed for more than 50 years. It is currently docked in the Calcasieu River and serves as a naval museum.

Securing a permanent dock would help the museum raise the necessary funds to keep the ship local, Williams said. Their ideal location is by the Interstate 10 bridge by Isle of Capri Casino.

“We would like a dock on the lakefront,” he said. “We could also apply for grants.”

Williams said he secured the necessary permit and was ready to move the ship to the lakefront. Those actions were halted when the Isle of Capri was sold to Eldorado Resorts, Inc. in 2017.

Williams said he wrote to Eldorado Resorts a “couple of months ago” to resume the move, but has not received a formal reply from them.

“We’re not trying to make (Eldorado Resorts) ‘the bad guy’ or put them on the spot,” he said. “We’re asking them to work with us.”

If the fundraiser falls short, Williams said the Orleck could be sold to a state with a reefing program, severed and made into an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico. The artifacts would be given to other museums or ships around the country. 

“That’s only a contingency plan,” he said. “We are trying to save the USS Orleck.”

””

The USS Orleck naval ship is currently located off Enterprise Boulevard in Lake Charles.

RickHickmanPhotographer
https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/6/d3/ea1/6d3ea1c8-3a6c-11e7-a1c2-0f91a5883b36.b31acdd1ef972ec0a2acb8ea5b28d153.png
””

The USS Orleck naval ship is currently located off Enterprise Boulevard in Lake Charles.

RickHickmanPhotographer
https://www.americanpress.com/content/tncms/avatars/6/d3/ea1/6d3ea1c8-3a6c-11e7-a1c2-0f91a5883b36.b31acdd1ef972ec0a2acb8ea5b28d153.png

Business

Beauregard Health System breaks ground for new expanded emergency department

Business

LC Memorial Health preparing for hurricane season

life

Mental Health Awareness: Why it’s OK to ask for help when you’re not OK

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Landry scores major victory

McNeese Sports

Citizen enters Cowboy corral

Local News

Two new housing developments will cater to seniors nearing or in retirement

Local News

CPSB to host job fair in June

Local News

The late Rev. Billy Graham immortalized in statue unveiled at US Capitol

Local News

One more bout of rain tonight, Saturday morning for SW La.

Local News

City Council meeting packed over effort to put tow yard in residential area

McNeese Sports

Cowboys getting weight room upgrade

Business News

Another lawsuit filed challenging Biden’s LNG ‘pause’

Local News

Meteorologist: Another round of heavy rainfall this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow morning

Local News

Anita Falcon’s relationship with her students often reaches beyond the classroom

Crime

Local attempted murder case dropped because case wasn’t brought to trial in timely manner

Local News

Severe storms kill at least 4 in Houston, cause widespread power outages

Local News

Jeff Davis releases names of parish administrator applicants

Local News

Kennedy introduces bill to help Louisiana farmers recover from crop loss

Local News

Louisiana National Guard send third rotation to Texas border

Local News

VIDEO: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Memorial Service

Local News

Speaker Johnson: Biden, Schumer must display moral courage, support Israel

Local News

Rate hikes for utilities approved in Sulphur

life

Circles on a Mission: Second-annual charity bike ride rolls this Saturday in DeRidder

Local News

WEATHER UPDATE: Another bout of severe weather awaits SW La.