Today, Oklahoma City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with the Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority and the USS Oklahoma City Park Association to design and construct a commemorative display featuring nautical items from the USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723) submarine and the USS Oklahoma City (CL-91/CG-5/CLG-5) cruiser.

The maritime display will be located along the Oklahoma River, on the north shore of Wiley Post Park, 1700 S Robinson Ave. It will feature the sail and diving planes (hydroplanes) from the USS Oklahoma City sub (SSN-723), which served the U.S. Navy from 1988 - 2022 and possibly items such as the screw, anchor and ship’s bell from the USS Oklahoma City (CL-91/CG-5/CLG-5) cruiser, which served the Navy from 1944 -1979. Narrative panels are planned to tell visitors about each ship’s rich naval history. 

Funding for the project will be raised privately by the USS Oklahoma City Park Association, led by retired Navy Commander Tucker McHugh, architect Don Beck and retired Rear Admiral and former Under Secretary of the Navy Greg Slavonic. A nonprofit has been established to accept tax-deductible donations to fund the building of this park. For more information or to contribute, email

“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.”

USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723) was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine commissioned in 1988. At 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons of water, the USS Oklahoma City supported various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The nuclear-powered attack submarine’s motto, “The Sooner, The Better,” held a compliment of 129 sailors and was the first submarine to use Digital Nautical Charts (DNCs).

The USS Oklahoma City (CL-91/CG-5/CLG-5) was a Cleveland-class light cruiser commissioned in 1944 and converted to a guided missile cruiser in 1957. She was the first US Naval Ship to be named after Oklahoma City, and the first U.S. warship to conduct a successful combat surface-to-surface missile shot destroying an NVN mobile radar station in 1972. The 610-foot Navy cruiser supported the Okinawa campaign, Western Pacific, South China Sea and Vietnam.

“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.”

“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 USS Oklahoma City Park Association hopes to open the exhibit in 2025.

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