U.S.S. Oriskany Homepage
Vietnam Era

This property was reserved by a Navy sailor on August 5, 1998.

This page is dedicated tothe sailors who served aboard the USS Oriskany and spent a fair amount oftheir life on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin.

This web page focuses on the latter half of the Vietnam Era, and on the crew of the USS Oriskany. I will strive to have many pictures of the Oriskany during these later Vietnam years, showing the ship and crew in action, on liberty, or display various pictures of places and shipmates from anyone willing to share/send them. Any Vietnam era sailor or descendant of the U.S.S. Oriskany crew (ship's company or air wing) who served during these years is welcome to send personal pictures of the ship, themselves, navy buddies, or ports.

These are to document the history of those times, and serve as a reminder of our growing experience. These are pictures for our viewing pleasure.

Year 2004 update: I wrote a little poem, which I hope honors the ship in the way that is due and fitting.

We spent a lot of time at sea. The longest cruise was 10 months and the longest time away from any port was 54 days. We looked forward to those times coming home. Note: Most of us considered home to be the States, however, some sailors just or also considered Olongapo City as their home. :o)

Please be patient. This web site has many jpeg and gif images which may take a few minutes to download.

Once out to sea, we served our main purpose to support our country's wishes (right or wrong). These photos show flight operations, which on occasion, ended (or started) very sadly. These are memories that many of us will never forget.


I didn't notice it before, but I think those two sailors working on the air speed "doppler" radar are Jeff "Moose" Webster (left) and George Thomann (right), two of the finest electronic technicians in the Navy at that time. This is a rare moment in photographic history finding them both working on their equipment ... uh, I mean the equipment was usually up 99.9%of the time. :o)

Feel free to download these pictures and put them up as your desktop.The following pictures have been submitted by members of the OE Division. Please feel free to send your pictures and represent your division/air wing, provided the pictures are not totally tasteless.
P.S. Always represent the US Navy and its former members in a positive and respectful manner.
Click here for a picture of the ship while anchored in Hong Kong harbor in 1970.

The following divisions have pictures and stories concerning their shipmates. Click the following hyperlink to see some of your old Navy buddies, or just read about their Navy memories.

 

More Pictures

Click here for another picture of the Mighty O from our 1971 cruise book (picture actually during the '70 cruise).

And click below to view these sailors.

BTW - Fox Division - Bill Barnhart is looking to contact Ray L. Orbin. Bill served aboard from March 67 to June 69 Bill's email address is billb501@yahoo.com

2nd Division - RICHARD M GILMORE gilmore-richard@sbcglobal.net is looking for:
ANYONE THAT KNEW HIM FROM 2ND DIV.  He was onboard from May 1970 to Jan 72. 

Scan your division photos. I'll be glad to post it here.

 

Reunion Information

Note: If anyone served in A-1 Division (Hydraulics) from '69 to '71, please contact Mike Hill at: mch@ris.net
Mike planned a Colorado Summer Reunion, which has passed, but he still might be interested in hearing from you. Update: Mike no longer has email, however, Karl states: We are still doing the reunions for the Mighty O, on our third one this year. A-1 hydralics division. Anyone wanting information can e-mail Karl Howard at lehfatboy@centurytel.net.

OE Division reunion held May 1-4, 2006 - Las Vegas, NV - contact Gerry at 303-451-9166 or gerry_benner@yahoo.com for more information. See oriskany.talkspot.com for news about past and future OE Division reunions.

Other Oriskany Web Sites

Thanks to Wayne and Bob, and many others for putting up some great web pages and adding to the histories and memories of one mighty ship.
This last door has some great articles written by Larry Matthews concerning Vietnam, and a tragic story of a sailor (Peter Chan) who died at sea. I too remember this 1972 event.

Another site, with lots of old and new photographs, is: http://photos.yahoo.com/ussoriskanycva34/

Thanks to Ron Thomas who supplied this flight deck photo looking forward with a nice view of the island from June 1970; and for sending this Feb 1971 picture.

Note: the following Navy web page provides information about how to find navy friends and other FAQs. Also, if anyone wishes, I'll post messages concerning your desire to contact shipmates here.

E-mail me with questions or concerns or with any stories or pictures you want me to add to this web site.

This page has been visited times.

Various Letters and Requests have been sent to me - folks looking for Oriskany sailors,information about anyone who knew their father (or maybe looking for a father);or just letters from sailors - expressing their thoughts and feelings.Click on the hyperlink to read these pages.

 


So, if you are from the OE Division or just want to see more pictures, click the hyperlink to see some of your old shipmates and additional ship photos. Thanks to Scott for adding his pictures to this OE Division web page.

July '99 news told us that the Oriskany is being towed from Washington to Beaumont, Texas (or Brownsville) where she will await being scrapped.The August 1st news has her off the coast of Argentina. I got an email with a photo of her attached, but she is pretty stripped down from her glory days,so I chose to remember her as the Mighty O and leave her memory as depicted above.An email from John (9/2000) tells us that the USS Oriskany is anchored safely in the MARAD Fleet in Beaumont, Texas; and that he has heard rumors that Congressman McCain is recommending an alternative (museum???).

If you do, however, want to see these recent pictures,click on the Bob Davis web page (2nd door from the right).

And concerning the fate of our ship, I wrote a little poem, which I hope honors the ship in the way that is due and fitting.

Thanks for visiting.

.... Gerry (September 1969 - October 1973)

September 2000 News: I see that there are a few more Oriskany web pages.Check out the web page at www.USSOriskany.com

September 2002 Note: I've gotten nice emails over the years about this web page. Thanks! It's been over 30 years for all of us Vietnam vets, and as war looms once again, I hope that we have objectives our country (and the world) can support, carried out to the fullest, with continguency plans already in place, and that we never again have another Vietnam.
I was locked out of my own web page for awhile (probably for putting PDF files here on this free site, sorry), and I missed putting some of your requests online. I'll try to find those and add them now that I know I have access to this account again.

April 2004 Note: While many of us to wait to hear the final fate of our ship; she is getting detoxified in C.C., Texas. Sure would nice to walk her decks one last time.
January 2005 Update: The ship arrived in Pensacola. Here is the December 21, 2004 news report. "Aircraft carrier destined to be artificial reef Steve Mraz @PensacolaNewsJournal.com - As the Monday sun set, the decommissioned aircraft carrier Oriskany and four tug boats inched through Pensacola Pass silhouetted by crimson skies. The heavily weathered and rusted ship, which is set to be an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico about 25 miles south of Pensacola, entered the pass five hours behind schedule at 5 p.m. ..." From what I read you can see the ship from downtown, and I believe you can go to the peer to get a closer look. I didn't see a date for the sinking or any events yet.
May 2006 Update: After environmental approval delays and millions in clean up of toxic chemicals (and evaluating the risk), it seems that leaders have finally accepted the degree to which the Navy has gone to minimize hazardous materials ----- so the Mighty USS Oriskany was sunk on 17 May 2006, and now serves as an artificial reef. Long live the memory of the Mighty O.

 

Personal Note: I've been employed by a great company these past 30+ years. The Navy was okay, but StorageTek is the best. :o) Note: StorageTek is now part of Sun Microsystems, who laid me off January, 2007.  So, now I'm with LSI Logic - hopefully another great company.