Remember, Honor, Restore, Educate!
The Board of Directors, officers, members, and volunteers of the USS ORLECK NAVAL MUSEUM, Inc. (USSONM), are honored and privileged to be a part of bringing the World War II-era destroyer, the USS ORLECK DD886, to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to serve as a historic museum and veterans memorial.
Built in 1945 by Consolidated Steel Shipbuilding in Orange, Texas, the USS ORLECK DD886 was launched into the Sabine River on 12 May 1945, and entered duty on 15 September. She served proudly in Korea and Vietnam, earning many prestigious awards and citations for participation in battle and service to her country, including four battle stars earned during the Korean Conflict. She was decommissioned in 1982, transferred to the Turkish government, renamed the TCG YUCETEPE, and served the Turkish Navy in the Persian Gulf in 1991. Turkey donated the ship to the Southeast Texas War Memorial and Heritage Foundation (SETWMHF) in 1999 to serve as a museum ship. She returned to her original berth in Orange by tow 11 August 2000 where she served as a museum ship until Hurricane Rita resulted in the loss of her berth.
Mission Statement USS Orleck Naval Museum, Inc.
To establish the destroyer know as USS Orleck DD886, docked on Lake Charles, Louisiana, as a lasting memorial to honor the men and women of our nation's Armed Forces; to preserve the history created by the crews who served on the USS Orleck and other U.S. Navy ships; to educate younger generations on the sacrifices made by these individuals to ensure the freedoms we enjoy today through educational, historical, and interpretive programs and experiences for adults and children of all ages; and to establish a first class tourist attraction, and educational and recreational resource for visitors from throughout the United States and other countries.
The USSONM, a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation (Federal Tax ID 90-0507764) established in 2009, towed the ship from Orange, Texas, to Lake Charles 19-20 May 2010. SETWMFH transferred the ORLECK to USSONM by act of donation on 22 June 2010. The USS Orleck opened to the public on 9 April 2011 at her temporary berth on the Calcasieu River at 604 North Enterprise Blvd thanks to the deciated work and support of volunteers and supporters. Local businesses and industries contributed much needed in-kind services and materials (parking lot material, paint, sheet metal, dozers, etc.), providing our volunteers many of the resources needed to prepare the ship to receive visitors during the grand opening weekend of 9-10 April 2011.