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USS Hornet Museum

USS Hornet, CV/CVA/CVS-12

The Navy has donated the HORNET to the Aircraft Carrier HORNET Foundation for use as a museum. She is currently moored at ex-NAS Alameda (now Alameda Point) pier 3, and is open to the public for tours.

The Essex-class carrier USS Hornet is the eighth and most distinguished namesake in a long line of U.S. Navy warships with proud naval histories, beginning with the first Hornet in 1775. The second Hornet took the Marines "to the shores of Tripoli" in 1805. The third Hornet sank the British warships Peacock and Penguin in the War of 1812. The seventh Hornet (CV-8) took the Doolittle Raiders to Tokyo, helped with the Battle of Midway, and was sunk on 27 October 1942 defending Guadalcanal in the Battle of Santa Cruz.

The eighth Hornet (CV-12) was a 27,100-ton Essex class aircraft carrier built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned in November 1943, she left the Atlantic in February 1944 to join the war against Japan. Her extraordinary combat record included:

  • Engaged the enemy in the Pacific in March 1944, only 21 months after the laying of her keel and the shortest shakedown cruise in Navy history (2 weeks).
  • For eighteen months, she never touched land. She was constantly in the most forward areas of the Pacific war - sometimes within 40 miles of the Japanese home islands.
  • She was under air attack 59 times but was never hit.
  • Her pilots destroyed 1,410 enemy aircraft and over one million tons of enemy shipping.
  • 10 Hornet pilots attained "Ace in a Day" status.
  • Her planes scored the critical first hits in sinking the super battleship Yamato.
  • She launched the first strikes in the liberation of the Philippines, and in Feb. 1945, the first strikes on Japan since the Doolittle raid in 1942.
  • The "Grey Ghost" participated in virtually all of the assault landings in the Pacific from March 1944 until the end of WW II, earning 9 battle stars and the Presidential Unit citation.
  • In 1969, Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin - the first men who walked on the moon - and Michael Collins. A short time later, she recovered Apollo 12 with the all-Navy crew of "moon walkers".
  • The F/A 18 fighter plane is named after this ship.

USS Hornet is a National Historic Landmark and a State Historical Landmark. The ship is located on the east side of San Francisco Bay.



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