Oriskany Museum and the Mighty O

After our visit to the Oriskany Battlefield Memorial Site, we drove south on Route 69 to the Oriskany Museum. Unfortunately, the museum building was closed. We had been in there before, however, so we consoled ourselves investigating the park.

Oriskany Museum

The park is beautiful. It has the anchor to the Mighty O— the U.S.S. Oriskany– the aircraft carrier which was recently sunk in the waters of south Florida.

Close Up Anchor

The U.S.S. Oriskany –also known as the “Mighty O”– was a Navy aircraft carrier, commissioned in 1950 and named after the Revolutionary battle site I described in our visit. She traveled around the world and saw action in Korea and Vietnam (John McCain served aboard her). She’s also a movie star, having been used for the film The Bridges at Toko-Ri. She was decommissioned in 1976. Her bell and anchor (and the Skyhawk, see photos below) are on display at the Oriskany Museum. In 2004, the Navy announced they were going to sink the Mighty O off the coast of Florida, and use her as an artificial reef– the first of its kind in naval history.

Here’s a video I found of the sinking.

The Discovery Channel did an extensive television segment on the environmental preparation for such a feat, and the sinking of the ship.

So all that’s left of the Mighty O is what remains of her scrap in other ships, and the artifacts at this museum. The museum is filled with tons of paraphernalia and history of the ship. And I didn’t know that Debbie Reynolds was the official “mascot” of the ship! There’s an autographed photo of her aboard it. I was a Debbie Reynolds fan as a kid.

I recently saw a YouTube video of some divers who explored the Mighty O at the bottom of the ocean. The video is a little long, but the shots are impressive. I was surprised to see how quickly the sea is taking over the ship!

Also fun to investigate is the A-4E Skyhawk Navy Attack Bomber.

Skyhawk Monument

Skyhawk Image


There are memorials and flags everywhere. It is lovely. A large wooden post stands next to a gazebo and says in many languages “Live in Peace.”

At the Playground

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (3)

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  1. […] There is an Oriskany Museum approximately 4 miles south of this battlefield, also on Route 69. The Battlefield is a memorial to those who fought in the War, and the Museum is more about the U.S.S. Oriskany aircraft carrier, with some information about the American Revolution. The Museum is worth seeing. We spent a delightful hour there, and I found out some really neat things about the U.S.S. Oriskany. You can read about it here. […]

  2. Anthony J. Chibbaro says:

    I served aboard the USS Oriskany all during its 1966 deployment to the Vietnam War and survived the October 1966 fire in which 44 fellow officers and sailors died.

    I’ve not visited the Oriskany Museum – but – I have ordered a jacket and tee shirts from the ‘store’.

    Glad to see the Museum keep the memory of ‘The Mighty O’ alive.

  3. Karen Jacobson says:

    It is always a good idea to call ahead for hours and days the museum is open if you are planning a trip. 315-736-7529