COPY-Famed aircraft carrier will carry memories when sunk as reef - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

COPY-Famed aircraft carrier will carry memories when sunk as reef

PENSACOLA, Fla. A famed aircraft carrier will carry memories with it when it's sunk as a reef in Pensacola.

The Navy plans to place explosives inside the U-S-S Oriskany and sink it as the world's largest intentionally created artificial reef on May 17th in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tourism leaders are counting on it to resurrect Pensacola's diving and sport fishing industries by luring tourists from around the world.

But for thousands of others with intimate memories of the warship, the Oriskany's 210-foot plunge to the ocean floor means more.

Thirty-two pilots lost their lives flying off the Oriskany in Vietnam. Two Oriskany pilots are still listed as missing in action.

On May 13th, there will be a reception for Oriskany veterans at Pensacola's Naval Aviation Museum. More than 400 Oriskany veterans plan to attend.

___

On the Net:

http://www.ussoriskany.com/

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-o/cv34.htm

http://www.pensacolachamber.com/armedservices/ussoriskany.htm

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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