COURTESY OF THE ADAMS CLASS VETERANS ASSOCIATION
An artist’s rendering shows the former USS Charles F. Adams in its proposed
berth on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Fla., where it would serve as a
naval ship museum.
ice employs today, according to
One of the main goals of the
museum, Aldrich said, will be to
provide educational opportunities
for local youths in the Boy/Girl
Scouts, Duval County Schools,
NSCC programs, the Jacksonville
University Navy Reserve Officers
Training Corps (ROTC) and area
high school JNROTC units. “Camp
Aboard” programs allowing youths
to spend a night, or weekend,
aboard the ship will be a key facet.
Information about the Charles F.
Adams Naval Ship Museum effort
can be found online at www.
the keel up as a “missile ship.” It
was homeported in Mayport, Fla.,
during much of its service life
before being decommissioned in
1992. The ship now is berthed at
the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on
“Donation Hold” status, and is the
last of the 23-ship class still afloat.
Several prior attempts to acquire
the ship as a museum and/or
memorial were undertaken by
groups in Saginaw Valley, Mich.,
and the Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.,
area, but eventually abandoned.
The ACVA petitioned the Navy for
an extension of the ship donation
application period, which was
authorized in April 2007 by Adm.
Mike Mullen, then-chief of naval
operations, and the effort has been
moving forward ever since.
Aldrich, who was involved with
the earlier Tampa/St. Petersburg
attempt, is encouraged by the
progress this time around.
“I think we are looking really
good,” he said. “It’s not a done deal
until the Navy signs that the ship is
ours, but if we keep going the way
we have been going, it looks like
we are on our way.”
Former Adams crew member
Wayne Misenar and lobbyist Bert
Watson, both members of the
Navy League’s Jacksonville Council, have been leading the effort to
rally support in Jacksonville for the
museum project. On Feb. 26, the
Jacksonville City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the location of Charles F.
Adams as a naval ship museum,
which Mayor John Peyton signed.
Watson and Misenar then
formed the JHNSA, the nonprofit
organization that will become the
ultimate “owner and operator” of
“It’s a Navy town, it’s near the
Adams’ longtime homeport, there is
a lot of tourist traffic in the downtown waterfront area and it has a
very strong Navy League,” said
Aldrich of Jacksonville. “It’s the
ideal place for what we envision.”
The museum will feature a variety of exhibits and information
about the Adams-class ships, highlighting the fact that they were the
first “missile ships” in the U.S.
Navy and heralded the “new age of
high-tech naval warfare” the serv-
Highlights Careers of
Navy’s Black Admirals
An Annapolis, Md., Navy Leaguer is
curator of an exhibit at the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis that
showcases the distinguished service
of 35 active-duty and retired African-American admirals.
“Seaworthy: The Story of the
U.S. Navy’s Black Admirals and
Their Contributions to the Nation”
includes a photographic retrospective showing the admirals as they
looked as midshipmen and as they
appear today, along with biographical information detailing their
careers and accomplishments,
according to curator Jim Jackson.
Jackson, a Naval Academy graduate, was a naval flight officer and
retired as a commander in 1995. He
now serves as an admissions adviser
at Anne Arundel Community
College in Maryland and has presented lectures on African-American
history at the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space
Museum, the Banneker-Douglass
African-American Cultural Center
and the Maryland Science Center in
Baltimore. He is a member of the
Navy League’s Annapolis Council.
The exhibit features a salute to the
African-American enlisted Sailors of