USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier Museum
The USS Hornet (CV/CVA/CVS 12) is one of 10 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during WWII. She was built in the Newport News shipyard in Virginia and was commissioned in November 1943.
She is the eighth ship to bear the name Hornet and was one of the most decorated ships of the U.S. Navy, having received nine Battle Stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. The Hornet underwent two modernizations during the 1950s and received an angled flight deck in order to bring her into the jet age. Hornet’s career spanned 27 years, which included the recovery of the Apollo 11 space capsule, carrying the first men to walk on the moon and, in 1970, she took part in recovering the Apollo 12 space capsule.
On 26 June 1970, she was decommissioned from the Navy and was placed in the Reserve Fleet facility in Bremerton, Washington. In 1991, after spending 24 years in the mothball fleet, she was designated a National Historic Landmark and, in 1998, she was donated to the Aircraft Carrier Hornet Foundation to become a public museum.
Today the Hornet is located at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, in Alameda, CA. Interestingly, she is moored on the same pier in which 61 years earlier, her predecessor, USS Hornet (CV 8), loaded on B-25 aircraft for the famous ìDoolittle Raidî to bomb Tokyo in April 1942.
She is currently open to the public year round except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The second deck, hangar deck, flight deck and island are all open for self-guided tours, or special tours led by a docent are available upon request. The docent tour includes the engine room, combat information center, the bridge, catapult room, torpedo repair shop, primary flight control, the 5-inch 38-caliber gun mount, ward and dental facilities and the crew’s mess.
The USS Hornet Museum is also host to many special events, including Youth Overnight Programs. For more information call 510/521-8448 or visit their website at www.usshornet.org.