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THE ADAMS CLASS VETERANS ASSOCIATION PLANS FOR A CHARLES F ADAMS CLASS MUSEUM IN JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA USA

Introduction

My name is Wally McNamee and I have the dubious honour to be your association representative for the Adams Class Veterans Association (ACVA) based in the USA.

I am an HMAS HOBART Plank Owner and served three postings to the Green Ghost covering all ranks from ABETS to WOETS totalling 8.5 years on the ship. I retired from the RAN in October 1999 as a LCDR (ETS) after 38.5 years service and I am currently working in semi retirement mounting medals and replicas from our home in Bullcreek, WA.

The ACVA are a volunteer organisation with a goal of preserving the memory of the Charles F Adams Guided Missile Destroyers (DDG) of which class the recent HMA Ships Hobart, Perth and Brisbane belonged. They intend to refurbish and locate the Charles F Adams the last remaining ship of the class to Jacksonville Florida. The ACVA have done a lot over the past years. The Attached report provides some background to the project and a précis of where they are at the as of May 2009. I intend to distribute further reports as things progress

Current membership of the ACVA is approximately 700 comprised of crewmembers from the US, Australian and German DDGS as well as other non crew members who are interested in preserving one of these fine warships. Another major goal of the ACVA is to hold an Adam Class DDG reunion in Jacksonville Florida as part of the Grand opening of the Adams Class museum opening. There are 107 Australians (list of names attached) who have expressed their intention to attend the combined reunion in Jacksonville Florida however not all of these are necessarily members of the ACVA.

This minute seeks new members for the ACVA and expressions of interest for the reunion. Aussies have already shown the largest interest in this event, but more would be great. I am sure that there are many of you out there who are keen to see the DDG preserved as a museum so let’s see more membership applications for membership. Membership is free or you can make a small donation of US $25 towards the Museum, application forms are on the ACVA web page www.adamsclassddgvets.org

INAUGURAL REPORT – HMAS HOBART ASSOCIATION
ADAMS CLASS VETERANS ASSOCIATION (ACVA) REPRESENTATIVE

Introduction

My name is Wally McNamee and I have the dubious honour to be your association representative for the Adams Class Veterans Association (ACVA) based in the USA.

I am an HMAS HOBART Plank Owner and served three postings to the Green Ghost covering all ranks from ABETS to WOETS totalling 8.5 years. I retired from the RAN as a LCDR (ETS) after 38.5 years service and currently work in semi retirement mounting medals from our home in Bullcreek.

ACVA Background and Goals

The Adams Class Veterans Association, Inc. (ACVA, Inc.) (www.adamsclassddgvets.org) was formed in Jan. 2004, after the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum announced they were abandoning efforts to attain the USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 as a museum ship for Bay City, Michigan.

Their goal is to save the USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2, the first Guided Missile Destroyer and the US Navy’s first Guided Missile Ship, as a museum ship. They have representatives and members from all 23 “US Adams Class DDG” ships and from the Australian and German Adams Class DDG’s.

The ACVA is a 501c3 non-profit organisation, formed with the mission and goal of saving an ADAMS class DDG ship. The ACVA is focusing its efforts on preserving the USS CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG-2), as she is the only ship of the class remaining. Several of the founding ACVA members are either “Plankowners” (original crew members) or served on one of the 23 US DDG’s between 1960 and the early 1990s.

Following consideration of a many potential sites, Jacksonville Florida was chosen as the site to berth the Charles F Adams and to establish the museum.

Saving a US Destroyer as a museum ship is a costly endeavour. The estimated cost could be $10-12 million. The members of the ACVA will attempt to raise $1 million of the amount in addition to donating many hours of experienced labour following the NAVSEA approval of their ship application. Their President, Robert Branco, was CO on the Adams during the mid 1980s resides in Maine and is supported by a Board of Directors located in Arizona, Virginia, Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The ACVA, INC.

represents and supports ALL ADAMS Class ships. Their current membership is over 700 and includes crew members from all 23 American DDG’s, 3 Australian and 3 German DDG’s, and other interested people interested but have never served on a DDG or in the military. Anyone with an interest is welcome to join in their efforts to preserve the history of the Guided Missile Destroyer service. You need not be a DDG sailor, ex-Navy, or ex-military to join the organisation. They welcome all who are interested in helping to preserve Naval History for future generations. They currently have no annual dues, but will accept donation checks, which are tax deductible. Those becoming members and donating US $25 or more are assigned a unique “ACVA Plankowner” number. See www.adamsclassddgvets.org to find the application.

Current Situation May 2009

The ACVA continues to pursue their goal to attain the USS Charles F. Adams and have it become a museum ship in Jacksonville, Florida. They met the NAVSEA deadline for the initial NAVSEA Ship Application on March 31, 2008. It was several books and about 700+ pages. After months, NAVSEA responded with 17 questions on many subjects. The ACVA asked for meetings with NAVSEA in Philadelphia, to better understand what was wanted and found NAVSEA was changing some application items and format and while they considered the submitted application a very credible document, they asked if ACVA could resubmit using the newer format. ACVA resubmitted a second revised application before the deadline of Jan. 31, 2009. This document was several volumes totalling 1000+ pages.

In the revised ship application ACVA revised the timeline needed for fundraising. In recognition of the economic downturn it was viewed as probably very difficult to raise pledges, cash and/or in kind services for $10-12 MIL by 2010 and it was revised to 2012. This means getting the ship from NAVSEA will also occur on a later date.

NAVSEA responded in mid April 2009 with a letter asking for more detail of the Fundraising Plans, and Proof of the location to place the ship. A response is required by July 2009 to the following:

1. Fundraising

– More details concerning how fundraising will be undertaken so they can be certain the ACVA will be able to run and manage the ship once they give it to us. They want to see much more money in the bank, show pledges in writing and see what companies agree to commit work or in kind services to our project.

Bert Watson, the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA) President and ACVA Director in Jacksonville, and Bob Branco, ACVA President with several other ACVA Board members, are working to specifically identify fundraising plans. However, there are people and companies willing to commit to supply services, but is not willing to do so until they know NAVSEA has approved our ship application. This is a catch 22 situation which will be addressed. The JHNSA group in Jacksonville is the local contingent of the ACVA

2. Location for the ship

– The location identified is next to the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida. NAVSEA wants to see signed paperwork from the City of Jacksonville formally allocating the space. Bert Watson is working with the Jacksonville Council to have the location specified in writing. Unfortunately due to changes in the Jacksonville Mayors office a key ACVA supporter left. In addition a new person became chair of the (JEDC) Jacksonville Environmental Development Commission. ACVA will meet again with the Mayor’s office and JEDC to assure that they know what we are trying to do. We understand several studies are underway by the JEDC, about possible development of the area ACVA proposed for the ship location. ACVA is checking to see what effect this may have on their plans. They hope the space and location issue will be resolved to their satisfaction and they have something in writing to submit to NAVSEA before the July deadline.

Items of General Interest

Atlantic Marine Shipbuilding Co. (Mayport/Jacksonville) is supporting the ACVA plans and wants to do work for them. They recently purchased piers and a dry dock at the Philadelphia Shipyard, which is where Charles F Adams is currently berthed. ACVA hopes this will work in their favour when they are ready to move the ship to dry dock for repairs to the hull prior to a tow to Florida. If it is necessary to only have to move the ship a very short distance from the Navy Yard to the dry dock then costs can be greatly reduced.

ACVA was in Phil. PA. in 2008 and participated in a strip ship week on several ships. They were able to acquire many items needed to refurbish the Adams and NAVSEA gave permission to store these items onboard Adams. ACVA will be receiving several radar antennas as material donations from NAVSEA when they are removed from the USS AUSTIN when it is scrapped in Texas this year. Arrangements have been made for the antennas to be trucked to Florida by an ACVA member to be displayed at a Largo, Florida military museum until the ACVA is ready to reinstall them on the Adams mast and antenna pedestals.

The ACVA participated May 11-15, 2009 in another strip ship event from two Yorktown class cruisers and DD-968 in Phil. Pa. ACVA has an inventory of items that were removed from the ADAMS and anything we can find will help reduce restoration costs. A small crew of 6 ACVA members worked 3 days and were able to find and remove many pieces of Radio and Bridge equipment for Adams use. ACVA considered asking to go aboard the Forrestal in Boston for strip ship, during May 2009, however, NAVSEA said much of the equipment was removed by the Saratoga museum group and a lot of equipment was removed prior to the decision to scrap the ship. Not much Adams type equipment was still aboard.

ACVA has the Environmental Service Co. (ESI) in Jacksonville under contract to obtain the necessary Local, State and Federal Environmental permits needed to place the ship at the designated location in Jacksonville. This process will take many months.

To see whose interested in attending click on ‘Attendance List’

Friday, 28 May 2004
96/2004

NEW NAVY HERITAGE CENTRE ON SYDNEY HARBOUR

More than 500,000 items representing a century of Australia’s Naval heritage will be displayed in a new Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre on Sydney harbour, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today. The centre will be built in the public access area at the northern end of Garden Island at a cost of approximately $5 million. Work is expected to begin in January. It will consist of:

* Two converted heritage-listed buildings used formerly as a gun-mounting workshop and a boat shed;

* A landscaped area for large external displays; and

* A café and conference facility. “The RAN Heritage Centre will be an institution of national significance,” Senator Hill said. “It is a major commitment by the Government to conserving and opening up Australia’s rich heritage to the nation.” Senator Hill said development of the centre was the culmination of the Navy’s re-invigoration of its heritage management. The centre will exhibit at museum standard artefacts from the RAN Collection. “The Naval collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world,” he said. “It represents our Navy’s physical history and illustrates its role in the defence and development of Australia since colonial times. “The exhibits will acknowledge the sacrifice of all those men and women who have served Australia so well in the past. They will also enhance the Navy’s internal ethos and further inform and educate the public on our Navy’s history through more than 100 years of peace and war. “The RAN Heritage Centre will complement the work of other institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.” Senator Hill said the Navy planned to operate the centre seven days a week and the public will be able to travel by ferry from Circular Quay to Garden Island. “Visitors will also be able to enjoy the historic gardens and unparalleled views of Sydney Harbour in the public access area,” he said.

Media contacts
Catherine Fitzpatrick
(Senator Hill) 02 6277 7800
0405 351 245
Defence Media Liaison
02 6265 3343
0408 498 664