Adams Class Naval Ship Museum

Summary - Donation Application

First of all many thanks to all of you who have supported this effort, in man-hours and/or cash donations, enabling us to submit this Application on time! A special Thank You goes out to the USS BARNEY Association, for their very generous gift of $10,000, arriving at a point when we critically needed money in order to complete required survey work.

The Product

Thanks to the efforts of Pete Mansel, Bob Branco, Jim Aldrich, Bob Rumney, Bert Watson, Wayne Misenar, Craig Bernat, and Tom Crosser, the Application, when finished, numbered 826 pages, and was delivered in 3 binders. Two “paper copies” were provided to the Ship Donation Office at NAVSEA, along with an electronic (.pdf file) copy. The Application was submitted “on time”, meeting the March 31,2008 deadline, established by then CNO Admiral Mike Mullen, when he extended ADAMS on “Donation Hold” status to give ACVA an opportunity to explore the Jacksonville opportunity we felt we had.

The Application was “officially” sent to the Secretary of the Navy, via his agent, NAVSEA PMS-333. The letter of transmittal to The Honorable Donald C. Winter (SECNAV) is one of the first pages in the Application; it was signed by Tom Crosser, President, ADAMS Class Veterans Association and Bert Watson, President, Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA). Our Application is considered “Proprietary & CONFIDENTIAL” (each page says this), and thus is not available to the public at large.

Donation Application Sections

The Application was divided into ten (11) segments and an Appendix.
     (1) Organization,
     (2) Business/Financial Plan,
     (3) Mooring & Berthing Plan,
     (4) Maintenance Plan,
     (5) Towing Plan,
     (6) Environmental Plan,
     (7) Health & Safety Plan,
     (8) Curator/Museum Plan, &
     (9) Volunteer Plan.
           Appendix - with 17 separate sections, providing back-up material and data for the various Chapters.


We explained our vision of the former USS CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG-2) being put on display as a Naval ship museum, representing the ADAMS class of guided missile destroyers, and how it began with the sailors who served in these fine ships, but it has now also become the vision of many former Navy-men and numerous residents of the Jacksonville, Florida area. Further, that vision sees a lasting and fitting memorial being established to honor all veterans, but especially paying tribute to the crewmen who served in this special class of warship. A brief history of the efforts to save the ADAMS was also provided, along with a description of the relationship between ACVA and JHNSA (the ultimate custodian of ADAMS and the operator of the Museum).

We also provided the following “Mission Statement
To excite, inspire, educate and entertain the general public; to create a venue dedicated to the mission, memory and men of the Adams Class destroyers; and to distinguish and define the role of the Navy in securing and maintaining a free and safe world in which the United States stands as the vanguard for other countries to thrive.

The Introduction explained the historical significance of the ex-USS CHARLES F. ADAMS DDG-2, the last surviving ship of the Adams Class guided missile destroyers, being the first guided missile destroyer built from the keel up by the U.S. Navy as a guided missile ship. This heralded a new age of U.S. Navy ships with advanced guided missile weapons systems. The USS CHARLES F. ADAMS revolutionized naval warfare from two aspects, anti-air warfare and anti-submarine warfare. We included an operational history of all of the ADAMS Class ships. The Appendix contained a set of “amplified” ship histories, further emphasizing the importance of the ADAMS Class ships, and showing the kinds of historical information that the Museum would have and display. In addition, one of the sections of the appendix also contained “sea stories” telling the ships’ histories through the eyes of the people who served in the ships – another example of what the Museum will display.

The Significance and History of Jacksonville was also explained, noting the many reasons why a Naval Ship Museum makes sense on the St John River in downtown Jacksonville (not least of which was that Jax was ADAMS’ homeport for 23 years). The Community Support for putting ADAMS in Jax was fully explained, not only emphasizing the unanimous City Council vote supporting ADAMS backed up with the Mayor’s signature, but also showing how a Naval Ship Museum can be an integral part of the tourist industry, the local youth programs, and the local educational system. Letters of support for the ADAMS Naval Ship Museum in Jax were referenced, and copies included in the Appendix, from local hotels, the Boy Scouts, the NJROTC units in local high schools, the Duval county School system. Several key letters of support came from retired admirals, and also from the Florida secretary Of State, and the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The Benefits to the Local Community were fully explained, telling how a Museum Ship such as ADAMS could benefit local youth and businesses.


This Chapter explained the ACVA and JHNSA organizations, who they are, and how they operate.


This Chapter contained the various costs to refurbish ADAMS, tow her to Jax, and set her up as a Museum Ship, along with projected operating costs. Along with all of the cost projections, revenue projections were also provided. The Marketing Study that was performed for ACVA by Keyser Marston Associates (same company who supported MIDWAY Museum) was a critical part of our plan, in order to have “valid” visitor numbers upon which to base our revenue projections. Thanks to Pete Mansel, who laid out the 5-year cost and revenue picture in numerous spreadsheets, we feel we showed that we had a very good grasp of the financial elements required to run a successful Ship Museum. Using the detailed information compiled by the two ACVA surveys of the ship, the team prepared a prioritized restoration list of required work and obtained recently revised cost estimates for the application’s business plan.


A very detailed berth design was developed by River Consulting, LLC. Bob Branco, Bert Watson, and Wayne Misenar worked day & night with River Consulting to produce a very nice berth design, mooring ADAMS alongside an attractive pier next to the Acosta Bridge. Of course, in order to meet the Navy’s requirements, the mooring was designed to withstand “a 100-year weather event”! Projected dredging requirements and costs were also developed as a part of this Chapter. Hopefully we can post some nice views of the berth design on the ACVA web site soon.


Thanks to Bob Rumney, we had a very specific Maintenance Plan. Included were the Daily, Weekly, Monthly, yearly, and Long Term maintenance requirements. Also spelled out were the dry docking requirements in a dry Docking Plan, along with various other things we will have to do to maintain and operate ADAMS as a Museum Ship.


One of NAVSEA’s major concerns is the towing of an older vessel like CHARLES F. ADAMS from Philadelphia to its new home. Bob Branco worked hard to make sure we had a Tow Plan that addresses all of the important issues. He also coordinated to obtain a towing proposal/cost estimate from a quality towing firm that has a successful history of towing Navy ships.


Our Environmental Plan, put together by Wayne Misenar, covered all of the various environmental issues that have to be resolved as a part of having a former warship open to the public, such as PCB, asbestos, indoor air quality, heavy-metal based paint compliance, etc, etc!


Also put together by Wayne Misenar, this Chapter addresses various health and safety issues, including a training program, hazardous materials program, personal protective equipment, confined spaces program, fall protection, and OSHA compliance.


The Application explained the concept for the operation of the Naval Ship Museum, and specifically "The museum’s mission is to collect and exhibit information, memorabilia and artifacts of the 23 ships in the class, of which CHARLES F. ADAMS is the sole surviving U.S. Navy ship". Not only will historical information including the history of these 23 ships in photos, videos, and personal artifacts be displayed, but exhibits will be developed that show the daily life of the sailors at sea: conducting replenishment operations, firing the ship‘s weapons systems, and recounting typical real life incidents in the history of these ships as they operated in the Cold War, Vietnam, and the tension filled times of the 1980s. Bob Branco developed the Curatorial Plan with detailed research and discussions with another successful ship museum’s curator, benefiting from that ship museums’ experience. The museum will bring to life not only a Navy ship with its modern weapons systems, but will also reveal the daily lives and challenges of the Navy veterans who served their country, spending months deployed away from their families, with long hours on watch under difficult stressful conditions in war and peace, in countries around the world.


This Chapter, put together by Bob Rumney & Tom Crosser, explains how our Volunteer Program will work, and who will administer it. Requirements to be a Volunteer are spelled out, along with descriptions of the various categories of Volunteers. You can go to the ACVA web site, , and look for the VOLUNTEER link on the left, and sign up to be a Volunteer, either as a local person who can come regularly, or as a ‘long distance’ Volunteer, who can only come once or twice a year.


Our supporting documentation (cost data, letters of support, marketing survey results, and various documents required by NAVSEA) filled one entire Volume of our 3 Volume Application. Also included is an appendix that details the condition of the ship and its deficiencies with priority safety issues documented by ACVA members in two visits to the CHARLES F. ADAMS in the Inactive Ship Facility in Philadelphia. Additional information on the planned organization of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ships Association is in this section with additional DDG-2 ship class history from many of the 23 ships.


The Application Team is very proud of their work, and believes it is a credit to all of the men who served in these fine ships. We have met a very significant milestone in making the ADAMS Naval Ship Museum a reality! However, we have a long way to go to reach our final goal, ADAMS sitting at the berth in Jax, so your continued support is critical. Please volunteer, and please continue, as you can, to contribute financially – this project is going to require a lot of money. Our ACVA web site now accepts tax-deductible donations via your credit or debit card.

Thank you again for all your support – WE DID IT!!!!

© 2004-2011 Adams Class Veterans Association, Inc.