Jul 012023

Happy 4th of July to the sailors, family and friends of USS ORLECK DD886!

We are looking to the future.  Join with us as we do!

I have much to tell you concerning our reunion group, the USS ORLECK, and what lies ahead for us now that we have dissolved the Destroyer USS ORLECK DD 886 Association. Those who attended our 2022 Jacksonville reunion or communicated about it, know the news that we have dissolved our organizational corporate structure and will no longer be having regular reunions as we have over the last thirty years. But we are far from being finished and what is in store for you in the future could well be, for many, the most exciting time so far. We will still have the opportunity to meet in reunion and what could be better than doing it aboard USS ORLECK DD 886? You may be saying to yourself, how can that be? After the 4th of July holiday, I will be spelling out just how that will work right here on our website, so stay tuned.

First things first though and right now I would prefer we focus on the reason most served and why we associate. It is because we have freedom in the greatest nation on earth and that is marked by the special day we celebrate today. Independence Day. Thank you for doing your part aboard the USS ORLECK and I wish you all a reflective, joyful, and happy time with your family.

This July 4th, 2024, we commemorate what occurred on this date in 1776 when our nation threw off the bonds of English colonial rule and declared itself to be an independent nation. Gaining freedom was difficult and needed fighting a major war to reach.

Keeping that freedom today could well be more difficult to do as our nation is being assaulted from without and within by so many alien and evil forces. Those leading citizens who signed the Declaration of Independence had the determination that America would become a free country. Today, at this very hour, our citizens should be equally determined to keeping it that way and to resisting with our entire being those who would steal it away. We must commit our lives to protecting our Republic and keeping our nation free according to the plan laid down in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights by our Creator.

I will post the details of the plan for future gatherings and what you will want to be thinking about and planning for you as we go forward. I will be posting that right here on July 15th so please calendar that and come back so we can start the discussion. This is not just for the sailors of USS ORLECK, but the family and friends of those sailors and of our beloved ship. Spread the word.

God Bless you all.

Bob Orleck P.O. Box 473

Shallotte, NC 28459


802-565-0340 (talk or text)

Please click here to leave a comment or if you would rather you can send your comments directly to me at reunion@ussorleck.com

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 news@ussorleck.com. 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.

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 fielddays@ussorleck.com.  (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: info@orleck.org
  • 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 www.visitlakecharles.org.

    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.