USS Orleck Museum

TCG Yucetepe

TCG Yucetepe

From: gurdeniz
To: Bob Orleck
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2000 2:39 PM
Subject: Ynt: TCG YUCETEPE

Dear Bob
She is gone. It is very touchy to watch the video casette.
She was like a queen and leaving her last reign and departing
for a new kingdom. I felt so different. She was home to me
for 10 months and I really gave so much to her in order to
make her look better and crew feel pride with her. Now while
leaving Izmir harbor under tow the sight was so strange to me.

Hundred times she crossed those waters and now she is under
tow and leaving us forever. However she is a lucky ship.
I try to visualize the day she will be christened as a
museum ship.

Attached is the picture taken in early may.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a message from Captain Cem GURDENIZ. Cem served as Executive Officer aboard TCG YUCETEPE D 345 and loved his ship. In large measure he was the man who saw to it that the USS ORLECK, built originally to last about 10 years, after making it through 37 years in our Navy, continued to serve the free world in Turkey for another 16 years until 1998. Captain GURDENIZ became an Admiral l in the Turkish Navy and served his country and freedom.  He has presently a prisoner of conscience in his own country.  You can read more about this on our Forums pages as well on posts on our Facebook page,  If it was not for Captain GURDENIZ our ship would never have made it back to the United States and while things have not turned out as I and Cem dreamed, the USS ORLECK DD 886 is still in existence in Lake Charles, LA and there are people with good intentions trying to preserve her as a museum.  While her experience in Orange was not good, and while it was painful for many to see how she languished under poor leadership there, there were good times when we gathered on-board her, did strip trips, had a reunion and more.  So it has been good and we owe Admiral Gurdeniz a deep debt of gratitude.

The USS ORLECK DD 886 is presently at a temporary berth in Lake Charles and we have been advised that there are plans to move her onto the Lake sometime in 2013 or 2014.   We will try to keep you updated in the future through the forum so please check in there once in awhile.


  16 Responses to “USS Orleck Museum”

  1. I had the last officer of the deck watch on the orleck 1 oct. 1982

    • Thanks for that post. Glad to have that history. How about an account of those last hours?

      • Dear Doyle:

        Have you looked at the USS ORLECK deck longs, on-line and searchable. All 37 years. The entry of you on the last watch is there but it is listed with the Sept 1982 entries. 1 October 1982
        Moored stbd. side to NAVRESCEN Pier, Tacoma, Wash., with standard mooring lines doubled. Receiving miscellaneous services from the pier. Engineering watch has been posted. Material condition YOKE has been set throughout the ship. Ships present include YR-86 and various merchant ships. SOPA is Commodore T. E. LEWIN, USN, COMNAVBASE, Seattle, Wash.
        W. J. Slone, STG1
        Moored as before.
        B. Bodaly, LTJG
        Moored as before.
        Turkish Naval Attache arrived.
        Cruiser Destroyer Group Five arrived.
        Commence Decommissioning Ceremony.
        Haul down the Awards. Strike the Commission Pennant. Hauled down the Colors. USS ORLECK DD-886 is now Decommissioned at this time.
        Doyle W. Littleton, QMC

        Examined By: J. A. Norris, LCDR, Navigator
        Approved By: H. A. Torok, CDR, Commanding Officer

        • Thanks for posting that day’s log Bob – Memories…So glad we could share that couple of days with Barb and your children. As the MC that day was kind of a blur for me…I had another 6 weeks with the ship until we cast off that last line and the Turkish crew headed to her new home.
          I must admit, I’m getting excited about the future. So hope that Jacksonville will give her that so well deserved final berth.

          • Hi Tony: Sorry this did not get posted up right after you sent it but somehow it slipped past my seeing it and I approve all messages. I’ll try to do better next time. The hospitality you showed my family at the 1982 decommissioning, commissioning, will always be a highlight for them. It was a special time for sure and a key point in ORLECK’s history.

            I will shortly be posting information on our upcoming 2020 reunion so look for that. Put aside the 11th, 12th & 13th and any additional days you want for a great vacation. Maybe 2022 will be in Jacksonville when she gets a permanent berth, something she has not had for the nearly two decades she has been back home. She surely deserves it and it would be a wonderful celebration if she gets a permanent berth and we are there to celebrate with her in reunion.

  2. I had the last officer of the deck watch 1 oct 1982

  3. I was a machinist mate on the USA ORLECK 1968 -1969. I can’t remember names to well but i do remember Richard Butler of Denver.

  4. I am trying to find out if my father was on the uss gyatt during Korean War. Any ideas how to do this? He passed 15 yrs ago. Served in Navy as yeoman Ronald Lewis

  5. wish to talk to crew members 1968-1970

    • I WAS ON THE USS ORLECK 1968 1969. I was a machinist mate. I remember a Rick Butler.

      • Hi Ron I will have to look at the cruise books to see your picture, my memory sucks, what engine room where you in, some shipmates and I r going to visit the Orleck down in Lake Charles LA. next month

      • Hi Ron,
        What engine room were you in? My memory is not as good as it used to be. Where was your bunk?

        • Aft engine room i had about three different bunks I do remember you Rick as plain as day you must remember me after I crawled out of the bildges up to my neck with oil and water and broke a light bulb and got zapped and you laughed so hard I chased you around the bildges.Sure would like to hear from you and see the ship someday.another person I remember is hutch I have alot of faces in my head but can’t remember names please message back if you can if you would ever be interested in calling also my number is 207-812-0322 sorry I never checked my messages earlier may you have a wonderful christmas

    • I WAS ON THE USS ORLECK 1968 1969. I was a machinist mate. I remember a Rick Butler.

  6. I walked the decks of the USS Orleck last September after attending the last reunion of the USS Gyatt in Baton Rouge. There were a lot of similarities and just as many differences in the ships configurations. I met Ron Williams, the museums director, and entrusted him with some of the materials and history books about the USS Gyatt to be included in the museum as part of the Gearing Class collection. I want to encourage all of my shipmates to help support the USS Orleck Museum. We have a vested interest. I will make another trip to Lake Charles sometime soon.

  7. nice to see the ol girl is still afloat. i spent 2yr 6 months on her, started as a seaman ,moved on to engineering, engineman, and part of a-gang. was homeported out of tacoma wash. enjoyed cruising the puget sound, straits of juan de fuca, bc coast as well as down to diego lng beach etc. went to juneau alaska. great place to be on a boat.mazatlan mexico was a blast, except for a case of montezumas revenge the kept most of the crew in line to the head on the way back to tacoma…lol. any old buds out there,drop me a line. i live in nb canada now,work as a broadband tech for rogers communications. cheers,to you mr orleck for keeping this going.

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