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Nov 012015

FIELD DAYS November 12-15,2015
Attendee Information

Dear USS ORLECK sailor, family and friends:

First of all, excuse me if you receive this twice. You may be on two individual lists that are being mailed to.

I know that this is short notice but the USS ORLECK DD 886 Museum will be holding a Field Days event on November 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of this year.  Based on feedback from those of you who attended, I have been assured by Ron Williams that he will be holding a “muster” each morning to speak about the projects in general, point out the needs, assign the jobs to individuals and to answer questions.  In addition there will be a plan-of-the-day that will be posted on all activities including liberty, chow and work details.

There is great expense for you to travel to your ship and work on her. One little bit of help is that any expenses you incur are tax deductible. The USS ORLECK Museum is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation so if your work is to assist their mission of restoring USS ORLECK then keep track of those expenses and submit them to Dawn Carrier at the ship (her contact information is below) and she will give you the proper document receipt for you to use when filing your tax return.

The message below is drawn together from several email communications I have had with Ron Williams and a conversation as well.  Ron is the author of most of what you read below.  So here is what I know of the Field Days and what you can do to participate.   It would be great if you could be there the whole time but even if you can only work a day or two that would be fine as well.  There will be work for all ages and physical conditions.  For some with physical problems bunks and ladders may be the biggest obstacles but there are some hotel options where you can avoid such things.

There has been insufficient notice to notify any of our members by regular mail so when you receive this by email, please make sure to contact your friends who may not have seen it by phone or personal email.

It is important that I have feedback from you.  I would appreciate it very much that any who plan to attend, would like more information or have something you wish to share with me to contact me by phone at 802-728-9806, (cell phone at 802-565-0340 if you can’t reach me at home), or by email at  (click on that address and you will get an email ready for you to add your comments).  At the end of the Field Days I will be sending out a survey to you regarding the event so please, if you are going to participate, let me know.   I also would like to talk to you by phone before the Field Days so include your phone number where you can be reached.


Bob Orleck
P.O. Box 213
Randolph, VT 05060

Here are some of the key items provided by Ron Williams

  • .Museum Contact info:  Dawn Carrier, Phone (337) 214- 4774 (SHIP)  Email:
  • Contact Dawn Carrier by phone or email with the following info:
    • Name, Address, Phone, Email
    • Stay aboard ship (YES or NO); arrival/departure dates and times
    • Staying in a hotel (YES or NO). provide the name/location of hotel, reservation number, and arrival/departure dates and times.
    • If arriving by air, please provide flight information to include Flight Number, Airline, Airport, arrival date/time. (Also provide departure information if known.
    • Meal cost ($30) will be paid:  You can pay by credit card over the phone to 337-214-7447 or you can mail check to PO Box 4470, Lake Charles LA 70606-4470
  • Weather:  In mid-November average high temperature is 72; average low is 52.  We are on the Gulf coast, so be prepared in case of some high humidity and rain.  However, November is usually pretty pleasant, weather -wise.
  • Weather gear:  The evenings can get chilly, so a light jacket or sweater are advised.  Dress in a layered manner you can shed the jacket or long sleeves as the day warms up.  Just be prepared for changing temps and some precipitation.
  • Tools:  Individuals who have special tools for their skills should bring them with them.  For example, electricians often like to bring their basic tools with them.  Welders should bring their protective gear.  Bring personal safety gear if you have it – goggles, hats, etc.  We have a large number of hard hats available.  Bring non-slip shoes and if you plan to work around heavy equipment bring the appropriate footwear.  Work gloves are advised; however, we will have some available, along with dust masks, & safety goggles.  Hearing protection is advised.  Again, we will have some of these items on hand if you don’t have them or forget to bring them.
  • Lodging.
    a.  Shipboard:  We can house folks aboard the ship in officer’s country, cooks and Bakers, M Division, Captain’s Shore Cabin, Commodore’s Cabin, Captain’s Sea Cabin, and the compartment below the Crew’s Mess.  Individuals should notify us in advance of a particular preference and we will try to accommodate them first come, first served.  Also, notify us if you need to stay on the main deck due to difficulty with laddars (stairs).
          b.  Hotels.  Arrangements have been made at the following hotels as listed below:  We have worked through the Visitors Center for these hotels/rates.  I believe the Quality Inn & Suites below was where Rich Angelini stayed in March.  Additional hotel information can be found at

    Quality Inn & Suites $79.99/night
    3211 Venture Park Dr
    Lake Charles, La 70615
    Office: 337-480-0898
    Fax: 337-480-1819

    Super 8 – Prien $89.99/night
    1350 East Prien Lake Road
    Lake Charles, La 70601, phone 337-477-1606

  • Getting to Lake Charles:
          a.  By Car.  Lake Charles is located in Southwest Louisiana along IH-10, approximately 30 miles east of the Texas border.  This is about 2 hours, 15 minutes east of Houston; one hour and 15 minutes west of Lafayette LA; 2 hours west of Baton Rouge LA;  under 3 hours west of New Orleans; and about 4 hours south of Shreveport LA.

    b.  By Air.  Air travel to Lake Charles-LCH is by United Airlines via Houston-IAH or American Airlines via Dallas-DFW.  One can also make good connections, especially from the east through Lafayette-LFT.  Many people find it more economical to rent a car in Houston and drive the 2 hours, 15 minutes to Lake Charles.  If you fly to Lafayette and rent a car the drive to Lake Charles is about 1 hour, 15 minutes.  Houston’s other airport is Houston Hobby-HOU, but there are not connections to Lake Charles.  Folks use Hobby rent a car to get to Lake Charles. LAKE CHARLES AIRPORT PICKUP:  Individuals arriving and departing from Lake Charles Regional Airport who need a ride to the ship or their hotel need to advise us as to their Flight Number and arrival/departure times so we can arrange pickup by one of our volunteers.

  • Work to be done  toward dual goals:  1)  preparing for towing to dry dock, and 2) restoration projects.  Although we do not have a definite dry dock date set, it could be as early as January to work on the hull below main deck, particularly below the water line.  As to restoration, we need to build on the work completed during the March Field Days, work accomplished by the Naval Reserve unit from Shreveport LA in September, and work completed by local volunteers.
    Preparing for dry dock.
    1.  Inspect and repair/patch areas between the waterline and the main deck.  There are a couple of areas that we have identified that definitely need to be cut our and patches welded in.
    2.  Inspect and repair exterior deck hatches so they can be made watertight.
    Restoration will include:
    1.  Main deck exterior bulkhead.  Approximately 75% of these areas were prepped and painted in March and September.  We need to complete the remaining 25% or so.
    2.  Mount 51.  Most of the mount has been prepped and some has been painted.  We should be able to complete this job.
    3.  Flying Bridge.  Director compartment has been prepped and painted, as well as most of the deck.  The signal flag compartment has been cleaned up and is almost ready for priming and painting.  A great deal of cutting and welding had to be done to close it in from the weather, particularly topside.
    4.  Starboard hull.  Since this is extremely visible to visitors when approaching the ship, we need to prep, prime, and paint from main to the waterline (actually, the black line).  (Port side hull – is only accessible by work barge and attacking it will probably need to wait for another Field Day or perhaps it can be worked in to the dry dock project.
    5.  Helo deck has started to leak again into what we call the USS RADFORD museum, so some areas will need to be repaired.
    6.  Radar Transmitter Compartment.  Our volunteers have been working on improving the lighting and removing flaking and chipped paint from the bulkheads and ceiling.  This compartment needs to be cleaned and painted.
    7.  Radio Central.  Install radios and teletypes obtained from the USS BARRY DD 933
    8.  Bridge (Pilot House) and CIC.  We have an ongoing project to cut out deteriorated surfaces underneath the deck plates and weld in new metal.
    9.  Crew sinks and showers.  We need to tackle some of this if we have the time and manpower.
    10  Areas forward of the mess (CPO Berthing, heads, etc.  We need to identify and prioritize the projects.
    “The above is just a brief outline of some of the areas that need attention.  As to exterior areas, The goals are to make the ship as presentable as possible to visitors (first impressions count), arrest continued deterioration in key areas, and restore areas to the Vietnam War era as much as possible.  Although this list does not include the Fire and Engine Rooms at this time, some cleanup of the first levels could start depending of manpower.

    As you can see, there is plenty of work for everyone for more than just this field day!”

  • Rich Angelini who directs the restoration of the USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY DD 850, who with his Dad, Mike Angelini and Ted Hayes from the KENNEDY,  attended the March, 2015 Field Days of USS ORLECK and have been so helpful in providing not only work but good advice.  What follows is a message from Rich to Ron and I about this upcoming Field Days.  As you can see he cannot be there for this one but is willing to provide help from afar.  We are very grateful for his expertise and I have chosen to include his message here which Ron said “is right on target!” because I thought it would be helpful to those who are working.  Here is what Rich had to say”     “Glad to see another 886 field day on the way.  If I may, I would like to provide a few suggestions for Ron’s consideration.  My memory is of the ship last year and the recent seen from facebook so please excuse and ignore any recommendations that may be completed.I recommend that a shipfitter/Electrical team be created of vocationally talented folks who know electricity, can weld, or are mechanical.  They would run down problems all weekend.

    Besides any electrical issues that are causing safety concerns on the ship, you may wish to have the team go through the interior main passageway and ensure that all dead end wires are safe/taped and removed from sight (maybe coiled into the cable way above).  This would greatly enhance the ship passageway for visitors.

    Use this team to stop any water leakage in the ship and do your plumbing needs.

    Painting:   We painted from the fwd expansion joint on the stbd side to the fwd expansion joint on the port side.  Recommend as Ron stated to work both sides forward to meet at the bulkhead aft of No 1 gun to finish bulkhead painting on main deck.  Prepping and painting both guns are important as visitors want to see them….and teams to prep and paint the focsle and fantail are important as well where we left off.  ASROC deck work continuation is also a good idea.

    STBD side hull work is a huge priority as Ron said as I agree with him to forget about the port side hull as it is one of the lower priorities since visitors never see it right now.

    Recommend deferring all engineering space restoration and that forward of the mess decks (unless metal work required) until after other high priority spaces are restored and painted.  Rome was not built in a day and KENNEDY used to be partly closed as well as we concentrated on doing one area at a time.  Chiefs quarters is still closed on 850 since we haven’t fixed it yet!

    Equipment:  Much radio equipment was acquired from BARRY and those items would go into both Radio Central (and its associated TTY room) and the Radio Transmitter room across the passageway.  Unfortunately, that means that some of the items that are in those spaces now will need to be removed and the items you have put in the correct place according to old photos we have.  Galley kettles were also acquired and the space in the galley may need to be measured out to see how the four of them can all be together.  Much other galley equipment was acquired for the spaces visual representation including milk cans, cookie sheets, and the such which can be placed in the compartment for visitor enjoyment.

    Sound powered phone jacks, lanterns, and other items were gotten that can be used to finalize displays on ORLECK.  Recommend areas like CIC, Bridge, etc get first shot at them as they are high profile areas.

    More than happy to work with anyone to help figure out the layout for radio.

    If you need any help from afar, please let me know as I would be happy to provide anything I can.



Dec 112014

March 12-14, 2015
Berth: 604 North Enterprise Blvd., Lake Charles LA 70601
(1-10 Exit 31A, Lake Charles)

The USS ORLECK DD 886, one of the most decorated ships to have served after WWII, will hold its first Field Day event in Lake Charles LA on March 12 —15, 2015. We need your help and participation! Step up and be one of the heroes to save this wonderful part of American History!

ORLECK needs supporters from across the country to come to work on her. Are you a Destroyer sailor whose ship is gone but not forgotten? The ORLECK will provide you the opportunity to revisit your time aboard your ship. Did you serve on a different kind of warship or in another branch of the military? . Are you the family member of a sailor or other military member? Are you someone who is just interested in history or just wants to help? If you served during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, any of the more recent conflicts, during peacetime, or if you never served, you can help preserve her legacy! If you can’t participate in March we will be doing additional Field Days in the future. Field Days are open to anyone, young or old, male or female, who wants to come aboard and serve!

The USS ORLECK DD 886, a Gearing Class Destroyer and workhouse of the US Navy for 37 years, also served 16 years in Turkey, our NATO ally, as the TCG Yucepepe D-345. She was commissioned at the end of WWII, served gallantly in Korea where she earned four battle stars and distinguished herself as the initiator of the “Train Busters”, then went on to earn 14 battle stars in Vietnam as “Top Gun” and “Grey Ghost of the Vietnam Coast”. She was the US Naval Reserve training ship in Tacoma WA before serving as a Turkish warship engaged in Middle East actions.

ORLECK has been back in the United States for almost 15 years and opened to the public for tours and events at her current location in April 2011. She awaits your arrival to work on her and bring her back to represent her days of glory. We must share the legacy of the ORLECK and her sailors with our children and grandchildren so they will understand what you did on their behalf and in defense of the Nation and our way of life! It is also a once in a lifetime opportunity to give her a proper restoration and “Welcome Home” recognition as the Vietnam War Veteran she is. In fact, the Senate Concurrent Resolution Number 135 of the 2014 Louisiana Legislature recognized the ORLECK’s distinguished history in its entirety and named the USS ORLECK Naval Museum as the Official Vietnam Memorial Museum Ship of the State of Louisiana. Please join ORLECK’s supporters and volunteers in welcoming her home and preserving her for posterity.

Those wanting to attend but are unable to due to age, health, or other circumstances can help in many ways, not the least of which is to know, care, and pray for the efforts of our volunteers. Others can support ORLECK financially and/or with their presence at the Field Days.

Here is THE PLAN:

  • Mark your calendar! March 12-15, 2015: Field Days aboard USS ORLECK DD 886. Send a copy of this to folks in your email address book who might be interested. When you see information appear on Facebook regarding the Field Days, please share it on your personal page. Send Bob Orleck at email below any ideas or contacts that you think would be appropriate.**
  • Sign up for USS ORLECK Field Day News emails at which does not commit you to anything. The emails will provide information about the field days should you decide to come or if you just want to follow the happenings.
  • Ready to Register? Fill in the on-line registration form at  and submit on-line.  Then all you have to do is send your check and come to the Field Days.  (Those registering will be automatically added to the email notifications.) The Museum provided the following information on accommodations: “Currently we are able to house a maximum of 75 people aboard the ship and accommodate at least 25 more on shore if additional space is needed, for a total of 100 berthing spaces. Heads and showers are available aboard the ship as well as at the on shore accommodations. All meals will be provided aboard the ship for the volunteers.”
  • Make travel arrangements. Ok, how do you get to Lake Charles?
  • By car. Lake Charles is located in Southwest Louisiana along IH-10, approximately 30 miles East of Texas border. This is about 2 hours, 15 minutes east of Houston; one hour, 15 minutes west of Lafayette LA; two hours west of Baton Rouge LA; under 3 hours west of New Orleans; and about 4 hours south of Shreveport LA.
  • By air. Air travel to Lake Charles-LCH is by United Airlines via Houston-IAH or American Airlines via Dallas-DFW. One can also sometimes make good connections especially from the East through Lafayette-LFT. Many people find it more economical to rent a car in Houston and drive the 2 hours, 15 minutes to Lake Charles. If you fly to Lafayette and rent a car the drive to Lake Charles is about 1 hour, 15 minutes. (Please note that Houston’s other airport, Houston Hobby-HOU, is another option but American and United do not fly from Houston-Hobby to Lake Charles so you would need to drive to Lake Charles.