Coastal Stuff, Commentary

This Hornet Stings

05.25.09 | Comment?

USS Hornet Island

Last year, I urged folks to make Memorial Day personal and wrote a piece about Bert LaRue, a man who served in the Pacific theatre in WWII and is interred at Golden Gate National Cemetery.

This year, I thought I’d take a different tack and write about the USS Hornet (CV-8 & CV-12.) Recently, my daughter and I made the trip to Alameda to tour the Hornet, now a museum at the former Alameda Naval Air Base. When I think about the Hornet, I think about CV-8, the ship that launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April, 1942. This Hornet, CV-12, isn’t that ship; it was sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of Santa Cruz in October, 1942.

After the loss, the USS Kearsarge, an Essex-class carrier under construction in Newport News was renamed before completion as the 8th ship to bear the moniker Hornet. CV-12 joined the fleet in 1944 and helped bring the Pacific campaign to a successful conclusion by staying at sea for over 15 months. Among her many feats in 1944-45, the Hornet’s pilots shot down 67 enemy aircraft and had 10 “aces” made in a single day.

After WWII, the Hornet supported Cold War fleet operations as an attack ship and subhunter, but is perhaps best known for recovering the crew of Apollo 11, the first men to walk on the moon. The Hornet was decommissioned in 1970 and placed in the reserve fleet for use as necessary. In 1989 she was discharged from the reserve fleet and eventually moored in Alameda where she became a floating museum in 1998.

On this Memorial Day, let’s thank our armed forces for their service, dedication, and sacrifice. Here are some more photos of the Hornet, enjoy.

Here are some exterior shots starting with the bow from the dock

USS Hornet Bow

The flight deck taken from the bow facing aft

USS Hornet Flightdeck

This is one of the airplanes on the flight deck, a COD

USS Hornet aircraft - COD

This is one of the airplanes on the flight deck, a sub hunter

USS Hornet aircraft - sub hunter

This is one of the airplanes on the flight deck, an F-14 Tomcat fighter

USS Hornet aircraft - F-14 Tomcat

A view of San Francisco from the stern of the flightdeck

USS Hornet - a view of San Francisco from the stern of the flightdeck

Shifting to the interior, here’s the port side passage way that runs the length of the ship

USS Hornet - port side passage way

Here’s the berthing for officers

USS Hornet - Officer's bunks

Here’s the berthing for enlisted

USS Hornet - Enlisted men's bunks

A diesel power unit in the bow section (this thing is the size of a bus.)

USS Hornet - engine power unit

Here’s a capstan that holds the mooring line

USS Hornet - capstan

Anchor chain for one of the primary anchors. Each link is about 18″ long.

USS Hornet - Anchor chain

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