USS Orleck (DD-886), was a Gearing-class destroyer in service with the United States Navy from 1945 to 1982. In October 1982 she was sold to Turkey and renamed Yücetepe (D 345). After her final decommissioning the Turkish government transferred Yücetepe to the Southeast Texas War Memorial and Heritage Foundation at Orange, Texas, where she was berthed as a museum ship. The Orleck Foundation then decided to move the ship to the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Orleck in 1964
|Builder:||Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas|
|Laid down:||28 November 1944|
|Launched:||12 May 1945|
|Commissioned:||15 September 1945|
|Decommissioned:||1 October 1982|
|Struck:||6 August 1987|
|4 battle stars (Korea)|
|Fate:||Transferred to Turkey, 1 October 1982|
|Acquired:||1 October 1982|
|Notes:||moved to Lake Charles, La, and opened in September 2010.|
|Class and type:||Gearing-class destroyer|
|Length:||390 ft 6 in (119.02 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft 10 in (12.45 m)|
|Draft:||14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)|
|Speed:||36.8 knots (68.2 km/h; 42.3 mph)|
|Range:||4,500 nmi (8,300 km) at 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
She was named after Lieutenant Joseph Orleck USN (1906–1943), commanding officer of USS Nauset, killed in action when the ship was sunk by German aircraft in the Gulf of Salerno on 9 September 1943, and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
United States Navy (1945–1982)
Orleck was laid down by the Consolidated Steel Corporation at Orange, Texas, on 28 November 1944, launched on 12 May 1945 by Mrs. Joseph Orleck, widow of Lieutenant Orleck, and commissioned on 15 September 1945. Her original cost was $6,313,000 US$.
Orleck underwent an extensive FRAM I overhaul in 1962.
On 7 June 1965, Orleck assisted in the recovery of the Gemini IV space capsule.
During the Vietnam War, Orleck served as plane guard for aircraft carriers on "Yankee Station" in the Gulf of Tonkin, participated in "Operation Sea Dragon", patrolled on search and rescue duties, and carried out naval gunfire support missions.
Orleck was decommissioned on 1 October 1982 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 6 August 1987.
Turkish Navy (1982–2000)
Museum ship (since 2000)
On 12 August 2000, the Turkish government transferred Yücetepe to the Southeast Texas War Memorial and Heritage Foundation at Orange, Texas, for use as a memorial and museum under her old name, USS Orleck.
When Hurricane Rita stuck the Texas coast in September 2005, Orleck was severely damaged. After repairs, Orleck was ready to return to her pier at Ochiltree-Inman Park; however, the City of Orange refused to allow her to return. Orleck was temporarily relocated to Levingston Island, then moored north of Orange Harbor Island.
On 6 May 2009, the Lake Charles, Louisiana, City Council voted in favor of an ordinance authorizing the City to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with USS Orleck. On 20 May 2010 it moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana where it is now on display. The Grand Opening in Lake Charles occurred on 10 April 2011. As of 2019 the ship is currently facing closure of the museum with the ship being either sunk or scrapped, however the museum remains operational.
In 2019, following the failure to acquire USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) as a museum ship in Jacksonville, Florida, it has been proposed by to acquire Orleck and move her to the proposed berth that was obtained for the Charles F. Adams. The USS Adams Association studied Orleck and deemed that she would survive the tow from Lake Charles to Jacksonville. The proposal is under consideration.
- Bourne, Jenna (27 June 2019). "Exclusive: Navy vets find new warship for proposed Jacksonville museum after losing USS Adams". WJAX. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Orleck (DD-886).|
- USS ORLECK NAVAL MUSEUM
- Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA): USS Orleck
- Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum at North Little Rock