… related to the commissioning of the USS Orleck.
The ship was laid down on November 28, 1944 by the Consolidated Steel Corporation of Texas. She was named ORLECK on January 11, 1945 and was launched on the 12th of May, 1945, and then commissioned on September 15, 1945.
|Class:||Gearing Class, Long Hull|
|Length:||390 feet, 6 inches|
|Beam:||40 feet, 10 inches|
|Original Armament:||Three 5″/38 Twins
Two 50MM Twins
Three 40MM Quads
Five 21″ Torpedo Tubes
Six K Guns
Two Depth Charge Racks
USS ORLECK DD 886 was decommissioned October 2, 1982 at the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Center pier in Tacoma, Washington.
TCG YUCETEPE D 345 (ex-USS ORLECK) was commissioned on October 2, 1982 at Tacoma, Washington.
TCG YUCETEPE D 345 was decommissioned April 1, 1998 in Golcuk Turkey.
USS ORLECK DD 886 returned to the United States and was originally moored on the Sabine River in Orange, Texas, the place of her birth where it was hoped she would begin her service as a museum there that would last for many years. Sadly that did not happen. The organization that held ownership of USS ORLECK there had many problems even with their own city and USS ORLECK had to find a new home. There was an opportunity that was rejected by those with authority over her for her to go to a fine mooring in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Finally she made her way to Lake Charles where she is being restored under new ownership and we are hopeful that things will improve for our beloved ship.
Gearing Class destroyers were built for a limited life of service; approximately 10-15 years. Some were lost at sea, but most survived and outlived expectations and ultimately had to face decommissioning. Some were recommissioned to the service of other nations. A lucky few were preserved as museums. Many were scrapped.
Many questioned what would be the fate of the ORLECK. It would not be appropriate to set her aside or scrap her. She was in great shape and that would have been a waste. There were no openings for a museum. The United States Government decided to enter into a military lease with Turkey. She served there until decommissioned on April 1, 1998.
At the time of the decommissioning in Turkey she was fully operational and beautifully maintained. Due to 2 1/2 years of sitting cold before tow arrangements were made, much rust formed and other deterioration took place. Even so she had a great chance to be restored in Orange, Texas. Many USS ORLECK sailors and others went to her assistance and gave of their time and money to support the group that had ownership of her. Most know the details so they will not be recounted here but suffice it to say she is now in Lake Charles under new ownership. The folks there are trying hard to make the best of the situation and to restore her but there will need to be much effort and resources put into the process.
The main focus of the DESTROYER USS ORLECK ASSOCIATION will be as it always has been and that is to provide quality reunions, a website and hopefully the type of newsletters we had become accustomed to having.
This story is not over yet. Look for more relevant dates and information later. The best place to keep informed on this site is through the “Forum“. Also go to reunion information regarding the upcoming reunion that is being currently planned. Application forms and other information as well can be found there.
I’m trying to find out if my mother help build this ship, she was welder during WWII at the Orange Texas ship yard. Is their a list of these type of people available.
Dale: I wish I could help you with this, but I have no other way to suggest other than contacting the city of Orange and make inquiries. You may get bounced from person to person, but I would think that with some effort you should be able to find what you are looking for. If you do, please share it with us here.