USS Orleck relative catches heaving line, ship anchored in Jax


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She waited with her arms outstretched as men aboard the USS Orleck prepared to throw the line ashore and anchor the historic destroyer. Who was she?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — She missed the first two throws – In her defense, they were way too short both falling into the water. 

Even still, with a cheering crowd behind her, she didn’t waver.

They were awaiting the heaving line of the USS Orleck which arrived in Downtown Jacksonville’s Southbank on Saturday afternoon. The city will be the new home of the historic vessel. 

Before any of that could happen, the heaving line had to be thrown to some welcoming hands on the dock. 

The third time was the charm.

The woman patiently waiting to catch the line was Dori Orleck Nason. She traveled here for the occasion from her home in Wilmington, N.C. She’s the grandniece of Lt. Joseph Orleck.

The USS Orleck, noted as one of the most decorated ships in U.S. Navy history, is named after Dori’s great-uncle. 

With 18 Battle Stars from its service during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Orleck is also one of the most decorated ships of the Vietnam War era. 

History of USS Orleck’s heaving line

LCDR (USN Ret.) Tony Norris was the last Chief Engineer on the USS Orleck, according to a Jacksonville Naval Museum news release. He cast off the last line from the ship in November 1982 from the Manchester fuel pier in Washington State as the Turkish Navy started her journey to her new home.

Norris was given the honor of catching the first heaving line when the Orleck arrived in Orange Texas where the ship started her new tour as a museum ship. He donated a dollar for each day he had possession of the heaving line, the news release states.

Before making its way to Jacksonville, the heaving line was tied to Line One on the Orleck’s bow.

When it was heaved and caught Saturday, it signaled that the USS Orleck is now moored at her new home in Jacksonville where she will serve as a museum ship.

RELATED: Here’s why a fireboat was blasting water into air as it escorted USS Orleck into Jacksonville

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