Jump to content


USS Hazard and Freedom Park, Omaha

Started by gwb123 , May 27 2012 07:36 PM

  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:36 PM

It was last summer that the Missouri River flooded its banks, covering farmland, major highways and industry from North Dakota down to Missouri itself.

Along that path was the USN Naval Museum located at Freedom Park, in Omaha.

For those who forgot what that looked like...

https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMPARK

Attached Images

  • Freedom_Park_wet.jpg


#2 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:41 PM

The good news, of sorts, was that the water rose slowly enough that most of the more vulnerable exhibits could be moved or secured in place.

Eventually the river receded... leaving a virtual desert of sand that was as deep as 9 feet.

The USS Hazard, which had been placed inland and buried to the waterline was raised by the river and refloated. It was moored in place by the caretakers, but when it resettled, it landed on a new bed of sand and listing to the side.

As you can see by the photo of the USS Marlin, along with the sand came trees and other debris.

These pictures were taken last October.

https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMPARK

Attached Images

  • Freedom_park_oct_3.jpg
  • Freedom_Park_october.jpg


#3 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

I had the good fortune to visit Freedom Park this weekend.

Thanks to the efforts of staff and volunteers, it is being restored, and hopefully will be able to greet vistors this coming summer.

The USS Hazard still lists 7 degrees off its centerline, which I am told means 10 to 12 degrees at the edge of the deck. (Being a non sailor, it did not occur to me that the angle gets magnified the further from the center that you go.) That is considered a safety issue for visitors, and power has also not yet been fully restored.

However, according to Mr. William Lee, the site manager, the interior of the Hazard is intact.

With his permission, I walked the grounds to see the progress that had been made. Many tons of sand has been removed, and grass has been replanted. Guns, bombs and missiles are being power washed and repainted, and debris cleared away. All of the museum vehicles sit on a nearby mound that remained above water.

Attached Images

  • cc1.jpg
  • CC2.jpg


#4 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:50 PM

As far as presentation, the ship looks like it is making a hard rolling turn to the left, as if frozen in a movement on the sea...

... note that the anchors are still deployed.

Attached Images

  • CC3.jpg
  • CC4.jpg
  • CC5.jpg


#5 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

Signs of the water line are still around...

on the park's electrical panel...

and on these anchors... if you look closely in the background you can see the exact same waterline on the levee in the background.

Attached Images

  • CC13.jpg
  • CC7.jpg


#6 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:57 PM

This A-4, formerly of the USS Enterprise, was fortunate enough to remain just above the waterline, which can be seen as a brown mark on the blue frame below it.

Attached Images

  • CC9.jpg


#7 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:00 PM

Makers of this Coast Guard helicopter should be proud that it remained floating through out the flooding. The water line can be seen across it's side.

Attached Images

  • CC8.jpg
  • CC10.jpg
  • CC11.jpg


#8 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:03 PM

For those who have never seen flooding, there is nothing gentle about it. If you go back to the very top photo you will spot the floating dock of a marina that used to open out to the river. This was right next store to Freedom Park. It is now cut off from the river by about 150 yards of sand dunes. This should give some context about how lucky we are that the exhibits at Freedom Park were not swept away.

Attached Images

  • CCC.jpg
  • cca.jpg


#9 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:07 PM

But as I mentioned at the beginning, work is progressing.

Here is the USS Marlin which is almost ready as an exhibit. In front of it is an anchor from the USS Wasp.

Hopefully by summer, everything else in the park will be back in shape again.

For those with inquiries, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMPARK for updates and additional photos.

Or you can inquire with Mr. William Lee, Site Manager for Freedom Park at sub_ssn589@yahoo.com.

Attached Images

  • CC12.jpg


#10 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 27 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

Post script... the park also features a number of name plates from ships that have served, but are no longer with us. There is also a selection of Naval deck guns from the WWII period including a full 5 inch turret.

Attached Images

  • cc14.jpg
  • CC15.jpg
  • CC16.jpg


#11 MWalsh

MWalsh
  • Members
    • Member ID: 440
  • 4,765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Way out in left field..

Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:35 PM

Thanks for posting the progress Gil! That site is on my list of places to try and hit someday.

How did the A-7 in the background fare?

MW

#12 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for posting the progress Gil! That site is on my list of places to try and hit someday.

How did the A-7 in the background fare?

MW


Judging by the water line (that nasty brown line across the bottom of the aircraft), it was about a foot or two into the water. I believe the engine is long ago removed, so damage is probably minimal.

Interestingly, the markings for this aircraft are for the USAF at Edwards AFB.

Attached Images

  • CC17.jpg
  • CC18.jpg
  • CC19.jpg


#13 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:57 PM

.

#14 Bob Hudson

Bob Hudson

    Forum Co-Founder (Ret)

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 2
  • 22,554 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for the updates. The first time I encountered this park/museum was quite by accident while driving around the Omaha waterfront and I was shocked to see the ship and aircraft rather casually displayed next to a funky marina.

Between the Old Market, the fantastic zoo and safari park, the Italian steakhouse, railroad depot museums, etc., Omaha is always worth a visit and it's good to see the work on this one attraction.

#15 willysmb44

willysmb44
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,617
  • 3,302 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:A café about 10 miles south of Mesurier

Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:08 AM

Wow, I don't think i knew about this! Thanks for posting these.
I've always wanted to get to Omaha to see Union Pacific locomotive 4023 on display, now I have another reason. Still, I can't see me ever being in the area for anything, though...

#16 Bluehawk

Bluehawk
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,976
  • 5,765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SoCal

Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:08 AM

Well done to all who work on the project!

Very appreciative to see this progress report on a wonderful installation.

#17 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:58 PM

Wow, I don't think i knew about this! Thanks for posting these.
I've always wanted to get to Omaha to see Union Pacific locomotive 4023 on display, now I have another reason. Still, I can't see me ever being in the area for anything, though...


Well worth the trip... that is the largest single piece of machinery I have ever seen in my life!

If you do come out this way you should also check out the Union Pacific Museum across the river in Council Bluffs, IA. It is located in a restored Carnegie Library as well.

#18 aceart

aceart
  • Recruits
    • Member ID: 104,955
  • 1 posts

Posted 15 August 2013 - 07:41 AM

I'm the photo editor for World War II magazine, I'm looking for a couple photos of the park and the USS Hazard for a news item in the magazine ... please contact me about Hi-res, pricing etc. Thanks!! guy.aceto (at) weiderhistorygroup.com



#19 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 15 August 2013 - 05:08 PM

Reply sent to your email.



#20 RustyCanteen

RustyCanteen

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 24,355
  • 11,995 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Earth

Posted 15 August 2013 - 05:40 PM

That's an interesting looking park, and seems to have quite a collection.

 

Gil, what are the props off of?

 

Not sure off hand.  They are all labeled at the park, but I did not take notes.  I have not been back there since May 2012.  Their website says they are still closed and I did not want to be a pest.



#21 MWalsh

MWalsh
  • Members
    • Member ID: 440
  • 4,765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Way out in left field..

Posted 18 April 2015 - 04:44 PM

Any updates on this Gil? Have you been by there since your thread started?

MW

#22 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 18 April 2015 - 06:50 PM

I went back last year sometime, I think in the spring.  The water is gone, but you would not believe the sand dunes piled up on top of what was grassland.

 

The ship is still listing to port perhaps 20 degrees, and is unsafe for tourists.  But it was intact.

 

According to this news story from last fall, there are plans to right the ship, as well as funding.  Sounds like it will cost about $100K.

 

http://www.ketv.com/...-later/27963584

 

They also have a Facebook page:

 

https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMPARK

 

Here was an end of year update from the Facebook page:

 

"If we take a moment to look back at 2014 we realize we have had quite a productive year! We thought we would take this cold Monday morning to share with you. After getting power and lights back in late 2013, things began to move. In the first two months, red night lights were restored, and Peter, Eric and Corsten refurbished several motors. These consisted of fans, blowers, and the Anchor Windlass, which was used to haul out of the dirt, and up to its hawse, the starboard anchor itself. We received from a donor, a fully operational movie projector (regrettably, no movies are available.) March brought the completion of repairs and the covering of units in the Radio Room and Communications Office. We then utilized an airless sprayer in early April to paint the overheads and bulkheads in new pale green. Throughout the spring, Duane worked bit-by-bit, to strip the old deck passageway outside of the Radio Room and Captains Cabin down to bare steel for new paint (at least 6 to 7 old layers of paint.)
Through spring and Summer Eric and Corsten worked many days in the Pilothouse, repairing wall insulation with styrofoam insulation, leading to a whole new painting. After a bad vandalism incident where the helicopter windows were all knocked out, Jon Howery of the Sub vets group, took several days to repair all of them with temporary Plexiglas. Also in June, four volunteers from Syngenta Corp. and two from Mutual of Omaha, cleaned and swabbed the Main deck, Aft Berthing, and the Ship's Store, allowing new deck paint to be applied Aft. The Ship's Small Store is now ready for re-stocking, thanks to them.
In July, we obtained some brand-new dark-green linoleum to fully restore the desk tops of Radio Room and Communications Office. August brought painting of the Captains passageway and the completion of Wheelhouse repairs, finishing with the covering and complete spray painting of the dark grey room with bright, fresh, and original Pale Green. From storage at Offutt AFB, we recovered an original Helm Stand and Engine Order Telegraph from a sister ship to the Hazard and installed them .
Lastly , in preparation for being re-stepped on the top of the ship, the Upper Mast -having lain in the flood waters of 2011 - was cleaned, coated, and spray painted with two coats of Light Grey. It is now ready for lifting once the ship is straightened (complete with radio aerials and signal flags!) Work continues in the Radio Room, re-installing equipment, though operating ham radio has already started. We hope to have the Aksarben Amateur Radio Club to the ship for the annual Amateur Radio Museum Ships on the Air event.
We are hoping warm weather will come early so the contractor can start leveling the ship. We are working to actually being open to the public later this year, the first opening in three years!"



#23 MWalsh

MWalsh
  • Members
    • Member ID: 440
  • 4,765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Way out in left field..

Posted 18 April 2015 - 07:24 PM

Wow. Quite a process to get it back ready to open again. Thanks for the update and links.

#24 willysmb44

willysmb44
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,617
  • 3,302 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:A café about 10 miles south of Mesurier

Posted 20 April 2015 - 10:52 AM

 

 

The ship is still listing to port perhaps 20 degrees, and is unsafe for tourists.  But it was intact.

 

 

 

Man, I find it so ironic that these ships were hauled so far from the water to avoid any longterm problems with said wet substance, only to be rendered unavailabe to the public from a flood!

I hope they get this ship righted. Think of all the museum ships are within one day's work of sinking at their moorings, and then you have these ships which were supposedly free from such problems, only to be closed to the public from a simple list.

Simple, that is, compared to the problems other museum ships have. Nothing easy about righting a ship on dry land. You can't counterflood to correct for that!



#25 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 12,370 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 20 April 2015 - 12:36 PM

While it has been pulled back from the river's edge, it is still on the flood plain.  It is on the river side of the barrier. 




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)