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The Mighty O
by Art Giberson
|The Mighty O, by Art Giberson
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The USS Oriskany,
known affectionately as The Mighty O, is an aircraft carrier 911 feet long. Eight boilers and
four steam turbine engines, delivering 150,000 shaft horsepower to four propellers, drove The Mighty O through the water at
speeds in excess of 30 knots. During fleet operations, the ship consumed 200 thousand gallons of fuel oil per day.
Mighty O is comparable in height to a 25-story skyscraper, has 10 decks and extended 192 feet above
the waterline. Her crew, including the air wing, consisted of around 3,500 men.
During the Vietnam War, The
Mighty O carried a complement of 80 aircraft (jets, prop-driven and helicopters). Most of her fixed-wing aircraft,
including the 70,000 pound A3 Sky Warrior, were launched by two steam-driven catapults. Aircraft recovery was accomplished
by four arresting cables.
After 25 years of
service, The Mighty O continues her service to the nation as an artificial reef in 212 feet of water,
22 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.