Bob Orleck

Feb 052016

What we have here are photos and a couple of other items that were the part of an album that a gentleman by the name of Yurii Broughton found in a thrift shop in Florida. He was concerned that so much of this person’s life was here and yet it was not in the hands of the man or a relative who might want it. The album obviously from the contents belonged to Charles E. Mahle who was at some point in his life a USS ORLECK DD 886 sailor. Yurii contacted me and asked if I could find Mr. Mahle or a relative. He wanted to send the album to me in the hope that I could find someone who might be related and so he spent his own money to have it shipped to me. I spent a day scanning and getting those photos in this album.  I tried to put these in right side up but there are a few who are not right but it will be more trouble than worth to change them.  Also most of the pictures were not labeled so I used Charles E. Mahler name on each of them except for a few.  I might go back and more clearly label those that had names on them but that will have to be a project for the future.

Charles E. Mahle is not on our member roster so I don’t have any specific information. Most of the pictures were from the time of his service in the Navy as best I can tell. There are also a number of personal type photos that I have not exhibited here but would be valuable to a family member.

Here is what I am requesting. Look at the photos. Some of you might find your face in a picture. Maybe you know the time he was aboard and maybe you served with him. If you know this person or if you know about the time aboard and maybe even have a lead to find Mr. Mahle or a relative, let me know it. You can post in the comment below the album or email Let’s find this man or a relative.

Click on the picture and it will enlarge then you can scroll through the pictures.

Jan 272016


The reunion is now history and good history it is.  I will leave this information here until a full report replaces it.   Any who were there and have pictures to share please get them to Bob Orleck and they will be posted in the report with credit to you who took them.  Also if you have any stories you wish to share let Bob know that as well.    

USS ORLECK Boothbay Harbor Schedule 2016

The Portland-Boothbay Harbor Reunion 2016 will take place on June 8th, 9th and 10th of June.  Some folks are checking in on June 3rd so they are already there but most are coming on June 7th to register at one of our two Lafayette hotels (Fisherman’s Wharf and Boothbay Harbor Inn).  A few  will join us on June 8th in the morning that will be sufficient to allow them to participate in all events.  Most people will be checking out on Saturday morning, June 11th.  There will be a breakfast on the 11th.  In fact breakfast will be provided for you on every day of your stay at the hotel.

The closest airport is in Portland, Maine (Portland Jetport) and our Association will be transporting people from that airport to the hotel on June 6th, 7th and 8th and at the end of the reunion from the hotels to the airport on June 11th and on the 12th .  For those arriving on the 5th of June or before or leaving after June 12th, car rentals are available at the airport.   For those wanting to rent a car I have a arranged for a special for you from Enterprise Car Rental. You should check out other company’s prices but I have generally found Enterprise to be lower and in addition they are providing an extra 10% off your rental when you use the special code.  Click on Enterprise Car Rental to see the details.

The event details are fairly solid now and a new schedule is posted.  You will see the date in red as to when the page was last updated.  Updates can occur all the way up to the reunion so keep coming back.  If you print out the schedule of events from the website do yourself a favor and do not bring it and rely on it at the reunion.  You will get a very up-to-date version when you check into the hotel.  Using the old one may have you in a place where we arn’t.

Things have fallen into place very well and it looks to be a great reunion.    Our hotels are right on the harbor in Boothbay Harbor and our hospitality room looks out right over that harbor.  It is a lovely setting.  Breakfast during the reunion are a part of your package as will be the lunches and banquets.  Included will be all transportation during the event, hospitality room, Memorial Service at Maine Maritime Museum and a specially designed 5″ metal name badge with your name printed.  We will be on the Atlantic Ocean for a nature boat tour of Boothbay Harbor.  We will also be chartering a Casco Bay Lines vessel to take us down the coastline from Bailey’s Island to Portland and from there we will have a guided tour of beautiful Portland including the “old port” and the most photographed lighthouse anywhere at the Portland Head Light.   Chances are there will be little time once we reach Freeport to shop the LLBean flagship store but you can always go back because they are open 24 hours a day.  It is possible we might arrive in Freeport in time to breeze through the store but it is unlikely at this point.  What we will be doing in Freeport is dining there at the fabulous Harraseeket Inn.   Earlier in the day before we board the Casco Bay Lines boat we will be at Bailey’s Island to enjoy a lobster bake banquet lunch right on the rocky Maine coast  at Cooks Lobster & Ale House.  Also on the agenda is a visit to the Maine Costal Botannical Gardens 260 acres of the most beautiful floral displays you have ever seen.   We have a lot of wonderful entertainment (great music by the Moon Dawgs and a repeat performance by Maine storyteller, John McDonald as well as some special entertainment surprises.  Maine is a vacation wonderland and what is planned for you is a great vacation at a price you could not do on your own.

It is still possible to get a couple of more folks in but we cannot guarantee anything.  We are past the date for the rooms to be guaranteed to us.  If you want to come please call Bob right away at 802-728-9806.  Make sure you talk to him directly and he will get right to work to see if he can get you in.  What I am saying is that if you have not registered we possibly can get you in.  You will still need to  Go to the registration form, print it, fill it out and send it in (address is on form).  Prior to mailing though call Bob.  He will work with you to make your hotel reservation.  The Boothbay Harbor hotels are closed in the winter and are just now in the process of opening.  There may be issues since we are past the guarantee date if you try to book your own room.  The registration rate for the hotel is separate and is $109. Since we are past the guarantee date we cannot guarantee the price but Bob can probably get that for you if rooms are still available.  The rate, if honored, will be good for at least 3 days before and 3 days after the reunion dates of 8th, 9th and 10th of June.  The registration for the events is made by filling in the form and sending that with your registration fee.  The fee for registration for the events is $325.

If you are flying, make your reservations for the plane and let Bob Orleck know the details so arrangements will be made to pick you up at the airport.  Time is close and arrangements are being made to hire ways to get people from the airport so Bob needs to know as soon as possible what your flight plans are.  Call him at 802-728-9806.

Bookmark this page and come back regularly.

Jan 212016

This is a new and great addition to the 500 plus photos posted by others on the Bar Harbor reunion. Be prepared to spend some time for there are 545 photos in this gallery that I received today from Rick and Patti Butler. The photos unfortunately are not captioned and are far too many for me to do that but I think you can get the idea. They are also not in strict time frame order. If you use any of these please give credit to the Butlers.  Well worth the time reviewing.

Enjoy!  Bob Orleck

Click on a photo to enlarge then you can scroll with the arrow that is about halfway down the side of the photo.

Dec 292015

USS ORLECK DD 886 was built in the bayou country of Orange County, Texas and was commissioned on September 15, 1945.  Leaving the backwaters of Orange, Texas she embarked on a remarkable career that spanned fifty three years of active service in the United States and Turkey.  She was built to last ten years but is still here as a museum in Lake Charles, Louisiana seventy years later.  Not only long lived, she did extraordinary service with four battle stars in Korea and fourteen in Vietnam during her thirty seven years as a US warship.  She was “Top Gun” in Vietnam firing more 5″ shells in support of ground troops than any other ship and in   in Korea she was the first to get a North Korean supply train.  Ten days later she got another and that led other allied ships doing the same thus forming the “Train Buster’s Club”.

After having served fifty three years as a US warship, she went on to serve sixteen years more in Turkey as TCG YUCETEPE D345 and her reputation for excellence went with her there.  In 1998 she was retired and brought back to the United States to serve as a museum but those years have been tough years and she was not received well nor did she get the care and respect that her service would seem to have required.   After having been make to leave Orange, Texas, she came under the care and control of another organization in Lake Charles and while her plight seems to have improved, her situation is still tenuous with her being tied up to a river without a permanent home and insufficient help and funds to adequately support her.  The Destroyer USS ORLECK Association did so much to try to make the museum a success when she was in Texas and is still working and has had some success in seeing that a working Field Days in Lake Charles was done in March of 2015 and we are still trying to work with the Museum to have more.

While her future in uncertain, things would be much worse without the support and help from a young man who is the curator of the USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY DD 850.  He has such a love of Gearing Class Destroyers that he has felt compelled to work to help preserve the USS ORLECK, the most decorated of her kind.  He does love the USS ORLECK and in March he not only worked to see that the focus was correct on the work done at the Field Days but he, his dad, Mike, and Ted Hayes came from the KENNEDY at their own expense and worked during those Field Days.  He has remained committed to her survival and that can not be better shown than by this tribute he did for her on her seventieth anniversary.  I wanted to get this on our website so all could see and hear and enjoy the work he did.  Knowing that USS ORLECK was a southern ship that was built in bayou country he used a famous and very appropriate song for the theme of this tribute.  I hope you enjoy it and appreciate the work that went into doing it.

I would also ask those who appreciate what he has done to join in his efforts on the USS KENNEDY.  I have been to the last three Field Days at the KENNEDY and would recommend them to you as well.  Not only will that help our sister ship but will also hone our skills that can be used on the USS ORLECK when and if the USS ORLECK Museum sets the dates for future Field Days.

Thanks for caring Rich.

Bob Orleck