Saving the tin cans

While there are something like 60 former U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels that are preserved from Pearl Harbor to Buffalo, New York, most are capital ships such as battleships or carriers, or submarines, with that latter well-liked as they have a small footprint, especially when talking about WWII smoke boats.

While they were commissioned in their hundreds, there are only about eight destroyers or destroyer escorts counted among these floating relics. Two of those are subject to newsworthy attention this week.

In Lake Charles, Louisiana, the Gearing-class destroyer USS Orleck (DD-886) has been hanging out since 2010. Awarded four battlestars in Korea, Orleck was transferred to Turkey in 1982, from whence she was saved in 2000 and became a floating exhibit in Orange, Texas for a decade before moving to Lake Chuck.

Now, it seems like Orleck could be on her third home since coming back to the States– Jax. The same group that was not able to get the ex-USS Adams is now trying to acquire the vessel and tow the 1945-vintage destroyer across the Gulf.

Meanwhile, the Fletcher-class destroyer, USS The Sullivans (DD-537), named after the five lost Sullivan brothers who perished on the cruiser USS Juneau in 1942, needs $2 million in emergency repairs to fix leaks in her hull and remove zebra mussels. Commissoned in 1943, she earned nine battle stars in WWII and went on to serve in Korea where she recived another two.

Last year, museum officials say they fixed 20 hull leaks and are currently working to close six more to prevent the Buffalo River from pouring into her hull.

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