The Orleck is open again

Jacksonville’s newest tourist attraction, the USS Orleck, has moved to its new location and will re-open Friday May 25.

Since coming to Jacksonville, the historic ship has had thousands of visitors and has held more than 100 private events, such as weddings, reunions and parties for visitors at conventions in downtown hotels.

The Orleck can hold 100 people comfortably, according to Jim Webb, executive director of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, Webb said the organization built a $100,000 platform and cleaned up the area around its new, and likely permanent, berth at 610 E. Bay St., south of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters.

The new location, donated by the city government, has better accessibility and is more secure.

The ship will be open from 9 to 3 daily and charges $15 per adult, or $13 for seniors and military, to tour the vessel. Military personnel on active duty in uniform get on free.

More than 40,000 people have visited the ship since it came to Jacksonville last year. It had closed in April for the move.

The Orleck, built in 1945, has a rich history. It fired more rounds during the Vietnam War than any other ship and was known as “the Gray Ghost.” After being decommissioned in 1982 it served in the Turkish Navy until 2000 when it was given to a museum in Texas.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


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