The final fate of the USS Oriskany (CV-34) is that it was scuttled as an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico. It's a fairly famous dive site.

There are photos of the ship as it sank taken by the United States Navy. What I don't understand is there appears to be a small boat strapped down to the deck of the USS Oriskany. Furthermore there is a box in that boat that is also strapped down.

What is the purpose of this boat? What is the box in the boat?

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Photo Credit: Public domain image taken from Wikipedia

  • 6
    I saw the TV documentary about this, it contained the equipment for controlling the detonations. If I can find some text to make a reql answer I'll post it.
    – Spencer
    Feb 19, 2018 at 13:59
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    It’s apparently not strapped down, as it did not go down with the ship. In videos you can see it still floating at the edge of the foam from the sinking.
    – Tom
    Feb 20, 2018 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


Spencer is correct. The boat on the flight deck is what housed the remote firing system that initiated the firing train. We attached nonel ( no electric firing cord ) to the initiation point then ran the nonel through the flight deck to detonating cord which branched to various areas of the ship to the main charges.

Tom is correct that the boat isn't actually strapped down. It is sitting on a frame.

When the ship sank, the boat was left floating on the surface.

How would I know you may ask? I was one of the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians that set the charges to sink the USS Oriskany.

I wrote a small article about my experience sinking the Oriskany. It can be viewed here

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  • 3
    Was it intentional to tick the Community Wiki checkbox? I have ticked it by accident a couple of times before I understood its implications. Jun 22, 2018 at 13:51
  • 2
    Thanks for your service, and in an usual way thanks for sinking her! Lots of good fishing in the area as a result.
    – Eric Urban
    Jun 22, 2018 at 21:51

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