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Adams Class Naval Ship Museum

The image below is a rendering of the current proposal.

Adams in Jacksonville

It shows USS CHARLES F ADAMS (DDG-2) berthed at the shipyard bulkhead pier
on the North Bank of the St Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, Florida

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Jacksonville may be new home for retired warship
(WJXT) Jacksonville

Author: Joy Purdy, 5:30, 6:30 and 11 p.m. anchor, Published On: Jul 16 2014 02:38:50 PM EDT Updated On: Jul 17 2014 07:35:59 PM EDT

In late June WJXT Jacksonville sent news anchor Joy Purdy with JHNSA's Joe Snowberger to Philadelphia to tour the ex-USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) and learn more about the Adams Class Warship Museum project that has been actively worked on by JHNSA and ACVA in Jacksonville, Florida since 2007. They were joined by Bob Branco in Philadelphia. He took them through the ship, and provided the ship's history, and showed the tremendous amount of restoration equipment collected by ACVA/JHNSA over the last several years. The link below takes you to the WJXT web site where you can see the video made onboard the ship.



After some phone meetings with Navsea, JHNSA and ACVA leaders moved ahead with the final submission of a 2014 Donation Application on June 30, 2014. John O'Neil, Mary Crawford and Joe Snowberger of JHNSA developed the updated revisions of the documentation for the establishment of the Adams Naval Warship Museum at the shipyard pier on the north bank of the St. Johns River. They were assisted by Pete Mansel, Wayne Misener, Bob Branco and Jim Aldrich of ACVA who had developed key segments of the previous Donap document. Many thanks to John and Mary for their many hours of dedicated work in revising the application. Navsea will be reviewing the document while the JHNSA works with the Jacksonville City Council to complete the approval of the shipyard pier lease in the next two months and pursuing more fund raising.

After many years of hard work by so many veterans, we are getting close to bringing her home. Stay tuned for more updates of our effort.



On April 1, 2014 JHNSA Board leadership hired Joe Snowberger as its full-time independent consultant. Simply put, Joe will be responsible for the overall daily operation of the JHNSA and will report to the JHNSA Board. For the last three years Joe has served as the Vice President of JHNSA and had devoted considerable time voluntarily working on the project to bring the USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 back to Jacksonville as a ship museum. He will now be working full time as we approach completion of the lease agreement with City for the Shipyard pier site.


Currently JHNSA and ACVA are working to meet two deadlines NAVSEA 21 has established for review of their joint Donation Application to bring the ex-USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 to Jacksonville, Florida. By the end of April an update is required including:

  1. the City of Jacksonville's commitment to execute a ten year lease for the museum site,
  2. the engineering and environmental requirements to obtain legal access to the site,
  3. the breakdown of all capital costs and documented cost estimates necessary to establish the ship museum at the concrete bulkhead pier, and
  4. the documented proof of the financial support to meet all of the capital costs above.

Currently all of these required items are being assembled for submission to NAVSEA.

In addition, a completely revised Donation Application for the new shipyard site needs to be submitted to NAVSEA 21 for their review by June 30, 2014.

Northbank Concrete Pier at Shipyard Site


All ACVA members are urged to provide donations to our effort to bring the Adams home to Jacksonville. This year will be our last opportunity to make our many years of work reality. In addition, all ACVA veterans are requested to go to our Volunteer link on the web site and provide your skills, experience and capability to assist us with the restoration of the ship. All veterans who have changed addresses and email contact information, please submit those updates to Dave Myerly, our Secretary.


From ACVA President Bob Branco

My apologies for not updating you all or the web site...the last couple of months have been crazy for me...but old men are usually crazy. The recent progress in Jax has been great with the City's approval of the shipyard site..and money has still been a big issue...but it seems to be improving...last week's Jaxtoberfest event that Jim and Craig and Wayne were at went well and was well attended. The JHNSA group was not the only group there for this city wide celebration...but over 400 people were reported to have attended. It is reported that they expect the Adams to be in Jax next fall...but there is still a lot of work to do to make that happen... once again my apologies for not having been keeping you and ACVA better informed... Bob


Jacksonville City Ordinance for the Adams Museum Shipyards Site

Ordinance 2013-408 providing City Support for the ex-USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) to be berthed at the north bank of the former Jacksonville Shipyards in Downtown Jacksonville as a Navy warship museum is ready for City Council Vote on Tuesday, August 13, at 5 PM.

The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA) continues to work with the offices of City Hall in Jacksonville to obtain the support of the 19 city council members to vote in favor of the ordinance to return the ex-USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) to downtown Jacksonville as a Navy warship museum. The warship did serve its last 21 years of commissioned service at the Mayport Naval Station.

The Ordinance calling for city support to return the ship can be viewed at the web site under the drop down bar - Government, Offices, City Council and then Legislative Bill Search by entering the year and bill number - 2013-408. Former City Council President Bill Bishop introduced the bill on June 25, 2013 and was immediately supported by the Council VP Bill Gulliford who is now the President of the Council. The number of City Council members who sponsor the bill is growing, and 10 of the 19 are presently are sponsors of the bill.

On August 6th, JHNSA President Dan Bean and Executive Director John O'Neil attended the second review of the Ordinance before the 9 members of the City Council Finance Committee. The Finance Committee voted 8 to 1 in favor of passing the bill onto to the full City Council for its second Reading before the entire City Council on Tuesday 13 August. Also on that same day, the 6 person Recreation Community Development Committee held their bi-weekly meeting and they voted 6 to 0 in favor of sending the bill forward. The Third Reading and vote will be Tuesday August 27, 2013.


JHNSA's tireless efforts to obtain Jacksonville City Council approval to locate the Adams Class Naval Ship Museum at the shipyard site on the north bank of the St. Johns River continue with key City decisions due to be made in August. The revised Ordinance 2013-408 to place the ex-USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 at the solid bulkhead pier was submitted to the Council on June 11, 2013 by City Council President Bill Bishop. The ordinance would allow the ship museum to be placed there for no less than 10 years, and it has already been realized by many downtown organizations and businesses as a great positive tourist attraction for the City.

On June 25th the Public Hearing and first reading of the Ordinance was held by the City Council with JHNSA President Daniel Bean and twenty enthusiastic supporters present. More committee meetings to address the ordinance revision will be held before the final vote. At this time, new President of the City Council Bill Gulliford, Councilman Bishop and at least 8 other council members support the revision of the ordinance.

Local Jacksonville development designer and community planner Chris Flagg has worked with the JHNSA to provide design concepts for the ship museum with the graphic art work below.

Our long time supporter Mr. W.W. "Bill" Gay has obtained several supporters willing to help us guarantee almost half of the required line of credit needed to get through the first steps of bringing the Charles F. Adams to Jacksonville - ship restoration, berthing site preparation, tow of the ship, volunteer restoration/preparation of museum displays, and opening the museum for the first year of operation. Financial support and volunteers from ACVA veterans are still needed to help make the museum development a reality. The new Downtown Jacksonville site is less costly and will enable more tourist visits to help the local economy and local businesses.



Adams Class Veterans and their families from the CHARLES F. ADAMS, TATTNALL and WADDELL reunited together at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida from April 14-17, 2013. Over 150 people came together to share their service and to catch up with old shipmates over days that included a tour of St. Augustine and the Naval Station in Mayport where they toured the USS Farragut DDG-99. Each of the ships had meetings and dinners and were briefed on the latest status of the effort to Bring the Adams home to Jacksonville as a ship museum for the class.

A memorial service for shipmates was held at the USS Stark Memorial on the Naval Station with a chaplain and the Naval Station commander and honor guard participating.

On Monday April 15th over 70 veterans and family members of USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2 from new construction to decommissioning crews attended a dinner and meeting at the hotel. The great occasion was enjoyed by all and Capt. Bob Branco, USN (Ret) reviewed the history of the ship's service and briefed all on the efforts in the past six years to restore the ship as a museum. On Wednesday night, JHNSA President Dan Bean came to the three ship dinner and recounted the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association's tremendous efforts to Bring the ADAMS Home.

USS Tattnall veteran Dick Harmon who lives in North Florida worked hard for months to organize this great multi-ship reunion and did a fantastic job. Thanks so much, Dick for your dedicated work. The Crowne Plaza staff worked with us to make all of the veterans and their families very happy with them.


Jacksonville Shipyard Site

Recently JHNSA and ACVA have focused on the concept of using a concrete fascia fronted bulkhead on the North Bank of the St. Johns River that was part of the former Jacksonville Shipyard. This idea has been discussed with NAVSEA in previous discussions and reports over the past year. The interim/temporary use of this mooring location would greatly reduce the cost of providing a mooring location for the ship museum in Jacksonville while fundraising for Acosta Bridge mooring site continues. The engineering design requirements for preparing the bulkhead pier at the site for the mooring of ADAMS have been defined by our long term mooring and environmental engineers Sandy Rice and Gary Howalt. This location would reduce the overall initial museum cost by over $5 million.

Left - 450 ft Bulkhead Pier facing South BankShipyard site facing Downtown

The north bank mooring at the former Jacksonville Shipyards property has stimulated the recent and acute interest in the area business community for the project and has buoyed our belief that the fundraising goals will be met in 2013. Jacksonville City Council President, Bill Bishop (instrumental in the passage of city Ordinance 2010-675-E that approved the ship museum site adjacent to the east side of the Acosta Bridge on the south bank) is introducing a modification to the city Ordinance to allow the ship museum to be placed at the bulkhead at the Shipyard site on the North Bank in a temporary moor for at least three years after the ship is donated by the Navy. This modification will allow the use of approximately 3 acres of the 23 total acres at the former shipyard site as a temporary location that could lead to a long-term/mooring location, while fundraising continues.

Mr. William “Bill” Gay, Sr. (Chairman, W.W. Gay Mechanical, principal supporter of the JHNSA); and John H. Rutherford, the elected Jacksonville Sheriff in Duval County, have joined forces to co-chair the JHNSA Executive Board to lead the community fundraising support for the Adams Class Naval Ship Museum (ACNSM). JHNSA leaders have been working closely with Chris Flagg of Flagg Design Studio LLC. Mr. Flagg is the chairman of DVI ( DVI is Jacksonville’s Business Improvement District and is owned by all of the property owners of Downtown Jacksonville, including the COJ. DVI’s mission is to build and maintain a healthy and vibrant Downtown community and to promote Downtown as an exciting place to live, work, play and visit. DVI’s board unanimously endorsed the ship museum project.

Another positive step for the museum came in early November 2012; the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge experts issued their Jacksonville Report for downtown revitalization and economic growth. The ship museum project was specifically mentioned in “Recommendation 2-2: Another example is the USS Adams Naval Ship Museum initiative. Interviewees suggest it is of low cost to the City, sustainable with funded exit strategies if it did not succeed, may reuse City property that is currently under-utilized and is likely to create significant draw.

In October, 2012, several prominent direct descendants of the Charles F. Adams family were briefed and have enthusiastically engaged in supporting the project through introductions to financial support within their personal and business relationships. In the short term, LCDR Charles F Adams, USNR traveled to Jacksonville from Tampa on very short notice to support and speak at the JHNSA Fourth Annual Gala and Silent Auction. His father, Peter Boylston Adams, is a US Army helicopter pilot veteran of the Viet Nam era who worked in Boston financial world. He and his family are now strong supporters of our effort to save this historic naval ship, since his cousin was Charles F. Adams, the namesake of the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2).


The Adams Class Veterans Association is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization.

Our Mission

  • Work with all Adams class groups and organizations to Save, Restore and Preserve the USS Charles F. Adams DDG-2;

  • Educate the public on the rich naval heritage of the Adams class DDG ships;

  • Document the roles of Adams class DDG ships in United States history;

  • Show the importance of preserving historic naval vessels and memorabilia for future generations to appreciate.

What is a ship, really?

Most people look at a ship as nothing more than a bunch of iron and steel. A sailor sees it as a living being conceived in a shipyard; the hopes, dreams and pride of those who built her - from the grandmother who helped assemble her electronics to the welders and pipe fitters who turn her into something recognizable. Eventually the day comes when she is commissioned and her crew breathes life into her hull. Her radar and lookouts are her eyes, sonar her ears, radios her voice and engines her heart. She reflects her crews attitude, their hopes and dreams. In her life time she will see about 10-15 complete crews man her, until that sad day when Uncle Sam says 'Thank you for your service" and she is retired.

The ships of this class were, in the tradition of the Navy, named for famous men; from Revolutionary War heroes and Civil War admirals to former statesmen. It is our dream and goal to save the last of this proud class of ships.

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Last site update: July 21, 2014

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