The Mighty O – Dive the Oriskany
About the Mighty O
The US Aircraft Carrier Oriskany’s keel was laid in Brooklyn on May 1, 1944 and she was launched on October 13th, 1945, shortly after the end of World War II. Construction was suspended until the start of the war in Korea, and then she was rushed to completion and was commissioned on September 25th, 1950.
Oriskany completed her first deployment to the Mediterranean in 1951 in support of Allied efforts to prevent Soviet aggression through Eastern Europe and the near east. A year later, while en-route to her new duty station in San Diego, Oriskany became the first aircraft carrier to sail around Cape Horn on June 29th, 1952. Oriskany left her home port of San Diego and Completed One combat cruise to Korea in 1952-53.
Following the Korean War, Oriskany and her crew starred in “The Bridges at Toko Ri” and “Men of the Fighting Lady”.
Oriskany underwent modification, which included the addition of a new angled deck, enclosed “hurricane” bow, and new upgraded electronics. These upgrades enabled Oriskany to operate with more modern jet aircraft, and prepared her for her next combat role.
Oriskany sent her first aircraft into combat in Vietnam in 1965. A-4 Skyhawks, F-8 Crusaders, A-7 Corsairs, A-1 Skyraiders, and A-3 Skywarriors, flew the majority of the combat missions, with H-2 Seasprite helicopters flying support.
Off of Vietnam, on the morning of October 26, 1966, tragedy struck when a fire broke out in an ordinance storage area near the officers stateroom area. 44 men were killed, many in their sleep by toxic fumes. Several aircraft were destroyed, and the ship was forced to return to the US for repairs. Oriskany was back in combat less than a year later. James Stockdale and John McCain were both based on Oriskany when they were shot down over North Vietnam and became Prisoners of War.
Despite being one of the smallest and oldest Aircraft carriers in service at the time, Oriskany launched more aircraft sorties, Oriskany pilots flew more missions, and Oriskany lost more aircraft and men to enemy fire than any other carrier in the Navy during the war in Vietnam.
The USS Oriskany was decommissioned on September 30, 1976 and was sent into preservation in Bremerton Washington until she was stricken from the record in 1989.
911 feet Long
151 feet High
157 feet Max Width
Displacement 33,000 Tons / 41,000 Tons Combat Load
Max Draft: 31 feet
Max Speed: 33 kts
Armament at Decom: 8 – 5″/38 AA guns
4 Steam Powered Engines provided 150,000 bhp
Coordinates for the Island – N30:02.542 W87:00.374
Diving the Oriskany
The USS Oriskany sits upright on the bottom in 220ft of water. The top of the smokestack is 84ft deep. Most of the Island including the admiral’s and navigation bridges, chart plotting room, captains and admirals sea cabins, and primary flight bridge is above 130ft, and there’s plenty to see above 100′ making her a great dive for all skill levels! The flight deck is 145ft deep, the Hangar Bay is at 175ft.
We will run both recreational divers (advanced and nitrox is strongly recommended!) and technical divers (deco procedures and trimix strongly recommended!). There is something for everyone!
Stay tuned for dates and pricing.