OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Council approved a special project with the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority and the USS Oklahoma City Park Association on Tuesday.
According to the City of OKC, the sail and diving planes from the USS Oklahoma City submarine and possibly items from the USS Oklahoma City cruiser like the screw, anchor and ship’s bell will be put on display in Wiley Post Park to show the ship’s history.
“It’s a great honor to provide the home for the USS Oklahoma City in Wiley Post Park,” said Parks and Recreation Director Melinda McMillan-Miller. “The new display will add to the attractions along the River and will continue to showcase Oklahoma’s important military history to future generations.”
The City says the project’s funding will be collected privately by the USS Oklahoma City Park Association, conducted by retired Navy Commander Tucker McHugh, architect Don Beck and retired Rear Admiral and former Under Secretary of the Navy Greg Slavonic.
“This park will honor the crews who served aboard the submarine and cruiser, which bared the name USS Oklahoma City for more than 80 years with service in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Frist Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom,” said Slavonic. “The park will be an educational park and will allow the public to touch the sail from a real submarine and read the history of the submarine and cruiser on the many panels around the sail.”
According to officials, the USS Oklahoma City submarine was a Los Angeles-class fast attack sub commissioned in 1988. The submarine was 360 feet long and displaced more that 6,900 tons of water as it supported numerous missions like anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
Officials say the USS Oklahoma City cruiser was a Cleveland-class light cruiser commissioned in 1944 and was later turned into a guided missile cruiser in 1957. The cruiser was the first US Naval Ship to be named after Oklahoma City as well as the first US warship to successfully perform a combat surface-to-surface missile shot demolishing a NVM mobile radar station in 1972.
“It has been my privilege for over 25 years to serve as OKC’s liaison to the USS Oklahoma City,” said City Council Chief of Staff Debi Martin. “This park will allow the history of our namesake sub to forever be part of our City’s legacy. We will honor the distinguished naval commanders and crew who served for 33+ years protecting our freedoms on international waters, while acknowledging the strong community support by OKC residents, the business community and local navy supporters.”
The City says the USS Oklahoma City Park Association plans to open the exhibit in 2025.
For more information, visit okc.gov.