Exclusive: Navy vets find new warship for proposed Jacksonville museum after losing USS Adams

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A group of local Navy veterans is revealing which naval warship they now want to bring to Jacksonville as a museum.

The decision comes after Action News reported in December the Navy reversed course on its decision to donate the USS Adams to Jacksonville.


The Navy confirmed to Action News Jax on Thursday that it plans to scrap the ship in 2020.

Over the past decade, the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association has experienced setback after setback in it's dream to bring a naval warship museum to the shipyards downtown.

“Some people call us the little train that could,” said Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association President Dan Bean. “We believe in this project.”

Now, the association has found another ship: the USS Orleck, which is currently on display in Louisiana.

The ship would be relocated to the left of a pier next to the Berkman II building, across from the jail.

Bean said testing showed the USS Orleck could survive the tow to Jacksonville.

But first, the association needs they need approval from the city.

At the same time, the association wants to transform the lot next to the Berkman II into a “veterans’ park.”

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Bean said  that would include moving the city’s Veterans Memorial Wall there, from near the TIAA Bank Field.

“It’s a more serene, more comfortable place than, frankly, being in the middle of a parking lot,” said Bean.

President of the Duval County chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America Tony D’Aleo said the majority of his chapter’s officers oppose moving the memorial wall there.

D’Aleo said it’s not a “respectful” place for the wall because it’s across from the jail.

Right now, the lot is primarily used by JSO employees for parking.

In April, the Berkman II developers withdrew their plan to develop the lot into an entertainment complex that would have included the warship museum.

Incoming Downtown Investment Authority CEO Lori Boyer told Action News Jax she plans to meet with the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association about the project, but it won’t be for at least a few more weeks.