USS Oriskany to be sunk to create artificial reef

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USS Oriskany to be sunk to create artificial reef

Postby ds2don on Sat May 06, 2006 11:17 am

PENSACOLA, FL (AP) -- A famed aircraft carrier will carry memories with it when it's sunk as a reef in Pensacola. The Navy plans to place explosives inside the USS Oriskany and sink it as the world's largest intentionally created artificial reef on May 17th in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tourism leaders are counting on it to resurrect Pensacola's diving and sport fishing industries by luring tourists from around the world. But for thousands of others with intimate memories of the warship, the Oriskany's 210-foot plunge to the ocean floor means more.

Thirty-two pilots lost their lives flying off the Oriskany in Vietnam. Two Oriskany pilots are still listed as missing in action. On May 13th, there will be a reception for Oriskany veterans at Pensacola's Naval Aviation Museum. More than 400 Oriskany veterans plan to attend.
If you don't want to stand behind our troops.
Please feel free to stand in front of them.
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Oriskany

Postby Mike Florio on Sat May 06, 2006 11:46 am

I still think they ought to sell her to the Israelis fr about $1 and help them use her for a strike on Iran. Maybe throw in a squadron of recently retired F-14s for a sweetener.
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Postby eagle0ne on Sat May 06, 2006 12:44 pm

As nice as the thought is, they could never get an F-14
on the Oriskany. Her flight deck is the wrong configuration and
the F-14 couldn't fit in the Hanger Bay.
Plane is just too big and heavy.
Oriskany had the Spads, A-4's and A-7's when I was aboard
her in 1969.

The "O" Boat was a fairly good ship although a little crowded in the
modern navy. It was at this time when all the new electronic systems
were coming out. NTDS, Fire Control System, Communications and Radars.
Installed after the big fire.
CIC and NTDS room were some of the few places on ship that
had Air Conditioning (Smelled Bad).
Crew just fit in among the electronics.
Most Electronics at that time was water cooled.
We had at least one fire a day while I was with her.
Mostly electrical fires. I have been on the Kearsarge, Hornet
(My dads old ships) and the Oriskany, Midway, and the Enterprise
(My brothers ship). Only the Enterprise could carry a F-14.

When they were filming Tora, Tora, Tora, they used the Oriskany
as a Japanese carrier because she was the last of the straight
deck carriers still in the navy at the time.
They didn't have all that fancy animation then.
Last edited by eagle0ne on Sat May 06, 2006 1:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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69 USS Oriskany CVA-34
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Postby eagle0ne on Sat May 06, 2006 12:53 pm

Just had another memory of the Oriskany.
She had Chromed ladder rails and water tight door
dog latches leading to CIC, because President
Kennedy came onboard with the Navy Brass
for a Navy show and tell when NTDS was first introduced
to the fleet. They were proud of that Chrome....
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Postby Rick Ward on Sat May 06, 2006 1:46 pm

USS Oriskany, a 27,100 ton Ticonderoga class aircraft carrier, was built at the New York Navy Yard. Though she was launched in October 1945, construction was suspended in August 1947 and she was completed to a revised design that was also used in modernizing several other ships of the Essex and Ticonderoga classes. Commissioned in September 1950, Oriskany deployed to the Mediterranean Sea between May and October 1951 and steamed around Cape Horn to join the Pacific Fleet in May 1952. She made one Korean War combat cruise, from September 1952 to May 1953.

Following the end of the Korean conflict, Oriskany continued her Pacific Fleet service for more than two more decades, deploying regularly to the Western Pacific for tours of duty with the Seventh Fleet. She was out of commission from January 1957 until March 1959, during which time she was modernized with a new angled flight deck, steam catapults, an enclosed "hurricane" bow and many other improvements that permitted safer operation of high-performance aircraft. In 1961, she became the first aircraft carrier to be fitted with the revolutionary Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS).

Oriskany's second war began with her 1965 WestPac cruise, during which her planes hit targets in North and South Vietnam. Several more combat tours followed as the Southeast Asian conflict waxed and waned. Tragedy struck the carrier on 26 October 1966, during her second Vietnam War deployment, when fire ravaged her forward compartments, killing 44 members of her crew and air group. Oriskany was repaired in the U.S., returned to the war zone in mid-1967 and rendered assistance to USS Forrestal when that carrier also suffered a major fire. Following twenty-six years of service, USS Oriskany was decommissioned in September 1976. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in July 1989 and sold for scrapping in 1994. However, after a prolonged effort that exhibited the perilous state of the domestic ship-breaking industry at the end of the Century, she was repossessed in 1997 and is presently in U.S. Government custody awaiting her final fate.
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