Efforts to bring the USS Charles F. Adams to downtown as a tourist attraction have foundered.
By Timothy Gibbons
– Editor in chief, Jacksonville Business Journal
After a decade of effort, plans to bring the USS Charles F. Adams to Jacksonville as a floating museum have been scrapped.
The ship — which had been based at Mayport Naval Station for two decades — was to be a premier attraction somewhere in the urban core, with locations ranging from Shad Khan’s plan for the Shipyards development to the entertainment center planned at the Berkman II site.
After years of fighting with the Navy, it was clear that the ship would not be released, said Dan Bean, president of Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, the group working to get the vessel here.
That doesn’t mean the effort to get a retired warship downtown is dead, however, with the group contemplating picking up a ship owned by a museum group elsewhere that is having financial trouble. Bean would not name any particular ships that are being considered.
“We’ve spent almost 10 years doing this, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and traveling to the USS Adams seven or eight times,” Bean said. “Time, treasure and blood was spent on the Adams. It’s very frustrating: We don’t feel like we were treated fairly by the Navy.”
Local veterans and other supporters have fought to get the USS Adams here for years, working their way through challenges including raising funds, securing a dock and dealing with Navy bureaucracy.
Several leading business owners have either donated funds or lent money to help secure the ship, which was envisioned to serve as a museum and meeting space.
The Adams was homeported at Naval Station Mayport for most of its time in service and is the last surviving ship of its class.
Despite the setback, the Naval Ship Association plans to regroup and forge ahead, Bean said. The developer of the Berkman II project — which would include a Ferris wheel and other entertainment options — is still on board with having a ship docked at the complex, he said, and the support of political officials is strong.
“We were told by the Navy that our application was the best it had ever received, in 2014,” Bean said. “We don’t accept the fact that we’re not good enough now. We think the mission is proper.”
Press Release from Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association:
“Unfortunately, the United States Navy has reversed course and determined the ex USS Adams will not be donated to the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (“JHNSA”) as a museum in Jacksonville, but instead will be scrapped. This decision is counter to the Navy’s recommendation in 2014 that the ex USS Adams be released to the JHNSA for donation. We wish to thank Congressman Rutherford, Senators Rubio and Nelson, Governor Scott, and all the City officials for their efforts with the Secretary of the Navy to have the ex USS Adams brought to Jacksonville. Although disappointed by this development, the JHNSA will continue to pursue bringing a Navy warship to downtown Jacksonville.”
Latest News on Adams Class Museum
Being Established in Jacksonville, Florida by the JHNSA and the ACVA
NEWS from the JHNSA Newsletter
EFFORTS TO SAVE USS CHARLES F ADAMS COME TO AN END
On Dec 21, 2018, the group in Jacksonville, Florida that had been trying to save the ADAMS as an ADAMS CLASS MUSEM sent out the following Press Release: “Unfortunately, the United States Navy has reversed course and determined the ex USS Adams will not be donated to the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (“JHNSA”) as a museum in Jacksonville, but instead will be scrapped. This decision is counter to the Navy’s recommendation in 2014 that the ex USS Adams be released to the JHNSA for donation. We wish to thank Congressman Rutherford, Senators Rubio and Nelson, Governor Scott, and all the City officials for their efforts with the Secretary of the Navy to have the ex USS Adams brought to Jacksonville. Although disappointed by this development, the JHNSA will continue to pursue bringing a Navy warship to downtown Jacksonville.”
That same day, the following appeared on the web site of the Jacksonville Business Journal: “After a decade of effort, plans to bring the USS Charles F. Adams to Jacksonville as a floating museum have been scrapped. The ship – which had been based at Mayport Naval Station for two decades – was to be a premier attraction somewhere in the urban core, with locations ranging from Shad Khan’s plan for the Shipyards development to the entertainment center planned at the Berkman II site. After years of fighting with the Navy, it was clear that the ship would not be released, said Dan Bean, President of Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, the group working to get the vessel here. That doesn’t mean the effort to get a retired warship downtown is dead, however, with the group contemplating picking up a ship owned by a museum group elsewhere that is having financial trouble. Bean would not name any particular ships that are being considered. “We’ve spent almost 10 years doing this, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and traveling to the USS Adams seven or eight times,” Bean said. “Time, treasure and blood was spent on the Adams. It’s very frustrating: We don’t feel like we were treated fairly by the Navy.” Local veterans and other supporters have fought to get the USS Adams here for years, working their way through challenges including raising funds, securing a dock and dealing with Navy bureaucracy. Several leading business owners have either donated funds or lent money to help secure the ship, which was envisioned to serve as a museum and meeting space. The Adams was homeported at Naval Station Mayport for most of its time in service and is the last surviving ship of its class. Despite the setback, the Naval Ship Association plans to regroup and forge ahead, Bean said. The developer of the Berkman II project – which would include a Ferris wheel and other entertainment options – is still on board with having a ship docked at the complex, he said, and the support of political officials is strong. “We were told by the Navy that our application was the best it had ever received, in 2014,” Bean said. “We don’t accept the fact that we’re not good enough now. We think the mission is proper.””
Update – October 12, 2017
Recently, the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA) was able to secure the remaining funds needed to bring the USS Charles F. Adams to Jacksonville as a naval warship museum!
We are extremely excited to make this announcement as this has been long in the works. We have had so many friends and companies and their staff who have been indispensable to our efforts with funds and in-kind work, without which we would not be where we are today. So, thank you all for your support!
The funds raised thus far will cover dry docking and preservation for tow, towing to Jacksonville, work on the pier and improving the grounds of the site.
We will also be relocating our Visitor’s Center and store items located within the Jacksonville Landing to a building on site. We will update you on the date of this transition in the near future.
With funds in place, we are now wrapping up the paperwork and are working with Rhoads Industries to coordinate a date for dry docking. In the meantime, work has begun on Pier 1 east at the former Jacksonville Shipyards (adjacent to the Berkman Marina).
This is a tremendous step in the project. Please keep in mind, the Association will still need many volunteers, additional resources, and funds to restore the ship and make her museum ready. If you have not signed up to volunteer and wish to do so, please email email@example.com or sign up through our website.
This is certainly an exciting time for the Association, the City of Jacksonville, and all those who have supported this worthwhile project over the years. The Adams Class of warships were the US Navy’s first keel up guided missile destroyers and they made a difference in our Navy and our nation. We are proud to bring the Charlie Deuce back to Jacksonville where she can continue to make a difference right in our community.
Join JHNSA in building the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) into a world-class naval warship museum. Please continue to donate, volunteer, and support fundraisers for this effort. We would not be where we are today without you.
We look forward to updating you in next month’s newsletter.
Update – August 17, 2017
I just received the following message from Dan Bean, President of the JHNSA:
“We are nearing completion of the final financial step necessary to have the ADAMS released to the JHNSA. We can also add that all permits have been issued for our pier work and we are now finalizing the permit paperwork for our uplands work and executing the EPA agreement. We remain optimistic for a Fall delivery to Jacksonville.”
Jim Bosworth – ACVA and DDG-2 Webmaster
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, January 17, 2017
From the JHNSA web site:
The USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) has an opportunity to be relocated from the Navy’s holding pen to Rhoads Industries for dry dock and transfer repairs in Philadelphia on March 7th! Rhoads will ready and paint the ship for her tow to Jacksonville. We are not able to release a tow date just yet and have a few more hurdles to resolve before officially announcing she is on her way home, but rest assured we will let you know as soon as the information becomes available.
The USS ADAMS Museum crew and supporters continue to work with the City of Jacksonville and The Stellar Group to finalize the plans and design for the future home of the USS ADAMS Museum at the historic Shipyards property in Downtown Jacksonville. The Pier has been inspected, the river water and bottom have been inspected and measured and the final agency permits and authorizations to begin construction are nearly complete. In the meantime, we have launched our memorial brick fundraising campaign where your support can be etched in brick forever and for all to see! Stay tuned for the next update! Go to the JHNSA web site for full details!
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, August 11, 2016
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, August 11, 2016
JHNSA Newsletter – PROJECT STATUS REPORT
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, JULY 15, 2016
JHNSA Newsletter – PROJECT STATUS REPORT
* Memo from Ed Metka, a fellow DDG-2 FTM1 crew mate
To: USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 Shipmates
My name is Ed Metka and I served on the USS Charles F Adams from 1972 thru 1976 as FTM-1. I am attending the Tin Can Sailors National Reunion in Branson, Missouri, Sept. 25 to 29, 2016 and would love to see a lot of CF Adams crew attend. If you can’t make it this year and want to think about next year, 2017, the TCS National Reunion is planned for Philadelphia. It has been 3 years since OUR LAST DDG-2 reunion in Jax in 2013. So lets get together in Branson and remember our great days on the Charlie Deuce.
You can learn more about the annual Tin Can Sailors Reunion event, at website http://www.destroyers.org/events/Coupons/M0416-TCS%2017.pdf or give me a call at 717-766-4901, OR check the full page ad in the recent May/Jun/July TCS Newsletter Page 17.
I hope to see a lot of DDG-2 crew members attend in Branson, MO.
Ed Metka FTM-1 72-76 firstname.lastname@example.org
Response from Dave Myerly, ACVA Executive Secretary
I agree with Ed about having a number of DDG-2 crew get together in Branson. The last two years the Adams crew was invited to be part of the DDG-19 reunion and we were able to make it a combined DDG-19 / DDG-2 reunion. About 20-25 DDG-2 crew attended each year. It would be great if those from DDG-2 attending could “Officially Represent” USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 during TCS events. I would hope our DDG-2 participants would discuss the need to start a “DDG-2 Reunion or Crew Group” to formally represent our ship at future events as the ACVA & JHNSA get the ship from NAVSEA. I have tried for several years to move this idea along to start a formal DDG-2 group and hosted online discussions and chats, personal emails and phone calls. However, between myself and 10-15 others interested mates we came to the conclusion that more participation were needed before this could happen.
After ACVA and JHNSA formally get the ship from NAVSEA, we will bring it to Jacksonville to become a museum ship and represent “ALL ADAMS CLASS DDG Ships”. ACVA has recognized all formal groups from every Adams Class DDG Ship, 33 in all, EXCEPT for the USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2. Formal groups from every other DDG Adams Class Ships include crew members from, DDG-3 to 24 and the Australian DDG’s, (DDG-38, DDG-39, and DDG-41), German DDG’s,labeled FGS, (DDG-28 FGS D185, DDG-29 FGS D186 & DDG-30 D187) and Greece. Some US DDG ships went to Greece after decommissioning and were renamed with Greek HMS names and given designations F219, F220 F221 etc.
We hope NAVSEA will release DDG-2 to JHNSA soon. Funding has been an issue but we are slowly catching up with that. In late 2015 we learned the Florida Legislature passed a budget that included $500,000 for the Adams Museum which will become available after the Navy formally turns the ship over to us. JHNSA became the formal contact with NAVSEA late last year. Our NAVSEA approved plans are in place and we are ready to accept DDG-2, and really begin work.
Immediately after getting our ship the first work will be to have it go into dry dock for some hull work and required Coast Guard Inspections and Certification before towing can be allowed. Then we will have it towed to Mayport / Jacksonville. Towing is planned and arranged. NOTE: Many ask how they can “RIDE THE SHIP”. Please see the paragraph at the end of this memo. If we have no delays at the Philly shipyard we expect the Charlie Deuce will arrive at Mayport and be taken directly to a shipyard up river and closer to Jacksonville. DDG-2 will need electrical re-certification and testing to clear hazards and fix safety issues. The shipyard will reinstall radar antennas we have stored in the area and perform other necessary work. They will reconnect cut and damaged electrical cables, connections, and conduits that occurred when the Navy did the “De milling” after DDG-2 was decommissioned. They shipyard will restore basic circuits for lights and fans etc. After this is complete we believe our Volunteers will be allowed aboard and we can commence preparing spaces to have visitors. We are hopeful the ship can be ready for visitors at our designated pier around Labor Day 2016.
Our assigned Pier in Jacksonville was changed to Pier 1, because of planned construction work by the new property owner, Mr. Kahn, He is also owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. We have had many delays since our 2004 beginning while working to obtain the ship and NAVSEA has reviewed and re-reviewed all aspects of our Donation Application (DONAP). The Pier change requires a revision to our mooring plan and we are quickly submitting the necessary changes. The Navy will again review, discuss, question, make changes and satisfy every question and eventually approve our plan. This takes more time and I wish we could guess how long but we don’t know. Please watch our ACVA and JHNSA web sites for more information as it becomes known.
Update – August 17, 2017
* “RIDING THE SHIP” (Sea and Anchor Detail), By Craig Bernat, ACVA Treasurer, April 3, 2016
Many have been calling and inquiring about riding the ship over the years. First, due to insurance, safety, and Coast Guard rules and regulations, NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO RIDE THE ADAMS FROM PHILADELPHIA TO JACKSONVILLE DURING THE OPEN OCEAN TOW. There may be one opportunity for a small group of people to ride the ship down the St John’s River to the pier as long as the insurance company and Coast Guard permit it. If that would happen an idea has been suggested that we make this a fundraiser to help pay the $300,000 towing bill. The proposal would be to allow up to 30 individuals who would sponsor a Hull Plate at $2500 to be line handlers. 20 individuals who would sponsor a Hull Plate at $1500 would be riders or look outs. Previous Hull Plate sponsorships do not apply. In return for your sponsorship, you would be treated to a banquet at the hotel the night before, individual & group photos, shirt and ball caps, and a Hull Plate Sponsorship certificate. Special room rates at the hotel would also arranged for you. Again this is just one idea being floated so we welcome your comments or ideas Contact me, by phone or email.
ACVA Treasurer, Craig Bernat 814-322-4150
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, December 02, 2015
Use the following link to check on the latest news from the JHNSA:
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, October 12, 2015
The following email from John O’Neil, Executive Director of JHNSA has been converted it to a PDF document so that it can be viewed on any computer. Click on the following link to download and view the document:
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, March 19, 2015 from Bob Branco, President of ACVA
During the week of March 10th, JHNSA/ACVA scheduled professional Ultrasonic Testing of the hull of the ex-USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 at the Inactive Ships Facility in Philadelphia. We worked with Rhoads Shipyard to get a contractor team from Team Industrial Services to do a systematic plan of readings of the hull from bow to stern. Former CO of the Adams Bob Branco, his Adams Chief Engineer, Earle Yearger (former CO of USS Doyle and USS Bataan), and Jim Donaldson a former warrant officer engineer on the Adams coordinated the UT testing.
Team Industrial Services technicians he did a great job working with us, crawling under a lot of equipment in engineering spaces and bilges. The test results showed that there was wear on the hull plates, but no serious problems were identified. When the ship is dry docked, additional UT testing will be conducted from the outside of the hull to verify its condition in areas that could not be reached. Overall, this was a positive step to planning restoration of the ship’s hull.
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, February 17, 2015
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, September 1, 2011
3rd Annual Gala & Silent Auction – “Launching A Legacy”
October 14-15, 2011, Jacksonville, Florida
Help launch Jacksonville’s next success and attend a fun evening! Meet the folks from around the country who are working to establish the first historic Navy ship museum in Florida. At the Saturday evening Gala on October 15th hear Governor Rick Scott share why this ship, this city, this time! Special guest Jacksonville’s Mayor, Alvin Brown. It’s Festivities, Food, a Live and Silent Auction to celebrate and support the launching of Jacksonville’s Adam’s Class Naval Ship Museum.
JHNSA Annual Meeting & Reception, Friday October 14, 2011
Fionn MacCools Irish Pub at The Jacksonville Landing
5-8 pm $25.00/person
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Guests of Honor: Governor Rick Scott, Mayor Alvin Brown
www.adamsclassmuseum.org/event-registration/ for more information and to register.
Also, Sunday, February 6, 2011
Jeff Zahratka, who’s first ship was the USS Lawrence (DDG-4), has written a book about his career in the Navy, called Sweepers Sweepers Man Your Brooms. This book is now available through the JHNSA, see the JHNSA Visitor’s Center for details.
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, October 12, 2010
The ADAMS has a Home !! This evening, at about 5:45 PM, the Jacksonville City Council voted 15-0 UNANIMOUSLY to approve Ordinance 2010-675, which gives the City of Jacksonville’s formal support for berthing the ADAMS Class Museum, utilizing the USS CHARLES F. ADAMS, alongside the Acosta Bridge in downtown Jacksonville on the south bank of the St Johns River. This is one of the key legislative steps in satisfying the US Navy requirement to demonstrate the availability of a permanent berth for ADAMS for at least 10 years. Earlier in the day, the Finance Committee of the Jacksonville City Council voted “out of the committee” with a 5-0 vote Ordinance 2010-675. This Ordinance is the City of Jacksonville’s formal support for berthing the ADAMS Class Museum, utilizing the USS CHARLES F. ADAMS, alongside the Acosta Bridge in downtown Jacksonville on the south bank of the St Johns River. This is one of the key legislative steps in satisfying the US Navy requirement to demonstrate the availability of a permanent berth for ADAMS for at least 10 years. The next step in this process is the City Council vote on this legislation on Tuesday 12 October. Councilman Bill Bishop and the members of the Finance Committee worked diligently with the Office of General Counsel to tune up the Ordinance to everyone’s satisfaction and the bill has been moved forward.
*NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, September 5, 2010
“A Series of Special Events – Bring Home the USS CHARLES F. ADAMS to Jacksonville” From October 21-22, 2010, there will be the second annual series of events to support the effort to “Bring Home the USS CHARLES F. ADAMS” as a ship museum honoring all of the ships of the ADAMS Class in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA) and the Adams Class Veterans Association (ACVA) will be hosting the events at the four-star Omni Hotel in Downtown Jacksonville, a block from The Jacksonville Landing where the ADAMS Class Museum Visitor Center is located.
On Thursday October 21, the first 40 attendees who sign up for our Fundraising Events will receive tickets to a rehearsal of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts. Doors will open at 1:45 PM, and the concert will end about 4 PM.
Later that evening, a Welcome Reception for all weekend attendees will be held at 5:45 PM at the River City Brewing Company. We will muster at 5:30 PM at the ADAMS Class Museum Visitor Center in The Jacksonville Landing and take a boat across the St Johns River to the reception.
On Friday evening, October 22, a Banquet will be held at the four-star Omni Hotel. A Social Hour and Silent Auction will begin at 6 PM. Dinner will begin at 7 PM. Our guest speaker will be Vice Admiral James Amerault, USN (Ret.), the President and CEO of OTO-Melara North America and a new Board Member of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA). Admiral Amerault is a strong supporter of the Adams Class Museum.
Fee for all events is: $125 per person. The Thursday Reception event only is $55 per person, and Friday Banquet event only is $70 per person.
SIGN UP OPTIONS TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS:
Option 1: Click here to open a Sign Up Form you can print out, complete with the necessary information, and mail to JHNSA with your check or credit card info.
Option 2: Click here to sign up electronically, and submit your credit card payment via the Internet.
NOTE: You must make your room reservations separately . For a room reservation, please call 1-800-843-6664 and ask for the Omni Hotel, Jacksonville, FL and request the “Adams Reunion” rate ($79 plus tax – the rate is good till 1 October). Several parking options are available – at the hotel and nearby, but if you are flying in, taking the shuttle from the airport is easier.
We are urging everyone to sign up for this exciting weekend no later than 1 October.
Also this weekend will be “Jacksonville Salutes the Sea Services”, October 21-24, Downtown Jacksonville Northbank Riverwalk. Attractions include:
* Ship Tours on a US Navy guided missile frigate, Coast Guard Vessel, and Deep Water Rescue and Salvage ship ”
* USMC Armor, Mechanized Unit and Weapon System Displays
* Jacksonville Landing Concerts
* Navy Dive and Salvage static displays
* Interactive Military and Maritime Industry Displays
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, August 14, 2010
THE FLORIDA TIMES-UNION POSTS VIDEO CLIP FROM THE ADAMS CLASS MUSEUM VISITORS CENTER: The Florida Times-Union newspaper (Jacksonville) has posted a video clip about the Adams Class Museum Visitors Center on their website. You can view the video via this link:
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, March 27, 2010
The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA) has established its own web site at www.adamsclassmuseum.org to provide current information regarding their effort to establish a Naval Ship Museum in honor of the ADAMS Class Guided Missile Destroyers and their crews. This Museum would use the former USS CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG-2), the lead-ship of the ADAMS Class, as the ADAMS Class Museum. This Naval Ship Museum would be berthed in the downtown area of Jacksonville, Florida, on the bank of the St Johns River. The new web site provides information on JHNSA’s efforts to local Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia residents, as well as to national supporters. The web site is comprised of 21 separate web pages, and contains a wealth of information regarding all aspects of the ADAMS Class Museum project. Please go to the web site www.adamsclassmuseum.org , and get acquainted with this worthy cause! You may note that a link to the JHNSA web site has been added to our SELLERS web site links, above.
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, November 17, 2009
Jacksonville Event a Success! The reports are coming in from the ACVA/JHNSA event in Jacksonville Florida. See JHNSA and ACVA web sites for photos and details.
* NEWS UPDATE on Adams Class Museum, July 24, 2009 SHIP RESTORATION FUND RAISING:
For the last couple of years Major Supporter and ACVA Member donations have been used in the long process of submitting our Donation Application for ex-USS Charles F. Adams. This process included engineering surveys, marketing studies, environmental studies and permitting. Our ACVA team has donated over $650,000 dollars of cash and in-kind labor to support the project by developing the Donation Application and obtaining all types of shipboard equipment to restore the CHARLES F. ADAMS. In addition, DDG-2 will need to be dry docked and have major hull repairs conducted by a shipyard.
We are opening this significant fund raising drive in hopes of involving larger numbers of DDG-2 veterans. We also want to include Ship Association Groups, companies and/or individuals who would contribute to restoring/replacing the 1245 4 X 8 foot sections of hull plating for the ex- USS CHARLES F. ADAMS DDG-2 and Yards O’ Concrete for pier construction or restoration. In addition, we are planning local Jacksonville Fund Raising Events starting this Fall and we could use volunteers to assist in us in the events.
THIS LINK will provide the details of how you and your shipmates can help us “Restore the CHARLES F. ADAMS.”
JACKSONVILLE FUND RAISING All Adams Class Veterans in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Florida interested in supporting fund raising events are urged to contact Craig Bernat, ACVA Treasurer and Fund Raising Chairman: email@example.com
* NOTE: See the ACVA and/or the JHNSA web sites (using the link on the left side of this page) to see more information regarding the history and the current status of the effort to establish the USS CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG-2) as a Naval Ship Museum in Jacksonville, Florida, representing all of the ships of the ADAMS Classs!