Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

USS Orleck Naval Museum

I’ve never been military-minded or particularly fond of anything related to war, but nonetheless, history interests me. Docked at the end of north Enterprise Boulevard, the USS Orleck Naval Museum recently opened in Lake Charles. So Eric and I took a tour today.

To give you a brief history, USS Orleck was a naval destroyer. Built in 1945, she missed WWII, but valiantly fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars. During her tour in Vietnam, she was known as the Gray Ghost. She later served 17 years in the Turkish Army. When the Orleck returned to the US in 1999, she found her way back to her birthplace, Orange, Texas. She was a museum there for several years until Hurricane Rita caused damage enough to close the museum. I guess she sat there unused for several years. Then through the painstaking efforts of numerous volunteers, the Orleck was brought to Lake Charles. For more information, go to It’s a wonderful website.

USS Orleck is a work in progress. Many -- though never enough -- volunteers work to maintain and continue restoring the ship. According to our super tour guide Ron Williams, one volunteer who was instrumental in bringing Orleck to Lake Charles passed away this past Saturday at age 88. Edward Godwin was a retired Navy commander and was present at the grand opening and dedication of the USS Orleck Naval Museum just one week prior to his death. It’s as if he held on and waited to see the fruits of his labor.

Big guns.


Captain Eric on the bridge.

The galley. The ship accomodated over 300 men, so this small kitchen served 1000 meals a day.

If you’re looking for something interesting to do, the USS Orleck is worth a trip.

My son Eric is one of the most adventurous eaters I know. When he was six years old, he eagerly ate fried frog legs at the Super Chinese Buffet. On our initial visit to Lake Charles, he was the first to try fried alligator. So naturally when we went to Victoria’s Taqueria (1004 Broad St. Highly recommended for good food and very reasonable prices.) for lunch today and he saw beef tongue on the menu . . . . Anyway, he said it was good. “A little chewy, but it tastes like beef.”

Did I mention my magnolia trees are blooming? Heaven scent.


Common Household Mom said...

I will have to come back later and read in more detail, but having cooked all day, the photo of the kitchen is what interested me. Wow - 1000 meals a day from that tiny kitchen.

Amos said...

Great pics and article!

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Thank you, Amos!