VAW-111 Det-31 Crewmembers man the rails of the USS Oriskany
as it slowly passes by the Memorial to the Men of the USS Arizona
in Pearl Harbor.
Viewing this photo is still just as sobering as the moment the Oriskany passed by the memorial dedicated to the heroic men of the USS Arizona who gave their lives on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.
I would like to dedicate this page to LT John B. Martin II, VF-191; LT Joseph R. Klugg, VFP-63; LT Wiley H. Skidmore, AIMD; and CDR Donald D. Aldern, COMCVW-19 who gave their lives while serving aboard the USS Oriskany's 1970 WestPac cruise. Although few of us knew them, none of us can forget them.
Flight Deck crew relaxes before morning sorties.
I served aboard the USS Oriskany (CVA-34) during the WestPac cruise of 1970. While aboard, I was an Aviation Structural Mechanic, Third-Class (AMS-3) for VAW-111's "Willy Fudds." Grumman preferred to call them "E1-B Tracers" At moments like this standdown, I usually had my Nikon with me and was able to record bits of daily life aboard the Oriskany.
The Oriskany's hanger bay was full of personal gear to unload in San Francisco.
When the Oriskany arrived back in the states, there was tons of personal gear to unload over two days. Bruce Hillblom and I sit atop the stack of officer's personal gear to prevent theft. The next day, the stack was just as enormous for the enlisted crew. Most of the gear was home electronics bought in Hong Kong, Japan and the Subic Bay PX. My stuff alone filled a small U-Haul that my folks towed back to Seattle for me.
I will continue to post other pix as I dig the negatives out of my archives and get them printed and scanned.
I will also post news articles related to the USS Oriskany and VAW-111 as I find them. Already posted is a Seattle Times article dated Saturday, July 28, 1990 about the "Mighty-O" being scrapped from Bremerton Ship Yard.
A second article (from the UPI wire) was published in the Everett Herald in July of 1972. This one is especially close to me as I was scheduled to be aboard a Fudd flight in Subic Bay that suffered the same fate as the one pictured in this article. Had I not been 'bumped off' the flight at the last second, I probably would have been another casualty in the Vietnam war.
More USS Oriskany Links.
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