Since the beginning of the United States Navy, eight ships proudly carried the name "Hornet".
U.S.S. Hornet is now peacefully moored at historic Alameda Point in San Francisco Bay, California.
The U.S.S. Hornet And Reunions

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Due to the destruction of our Post Home building by Hurricane Katrina we are now sharing
a building owned by the VFW Post 4526 15206 Dedaux Rd Gulfport MS 39503.
Phone Number depending on where you live 832-0017 or 228-832-0017 or 1-228-832-0017
American Legion Post 119 Is Requesting
Donations To Rebuild Our Post Home.
See below for Contact Information.

All communications with the Post, regarding donations to rebuild
our Post Home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, should be made to
Post Commander Ron Jurgensen 12230 Sandy Hook Lane  Gulfport, MS.

Ron Jurgensen Home Phone 228-206-1936  


U.S.S. Hornet Picture

U.S.S. Hornet
Reunion Information
All Ship's Company & Air Groups & Officers
CV-8 / CV-12 / CVA-12 / CVS-12
For more information Contact...
USS Hornet Association, Inc.
PO Box 108
Roaring Spring, PA 16673
Phone: 1-814-224-5063
Fax: 1-814-224-0078
Contact By Email

U.S.S. Hornet Association

U.S.S. Hornet Website

U.S.S. Hornet Museum

Naval Historical Center

The Hornet Legacy

  Since the beginning of the United States Navy, eight ships proudly carried the name Hornet.
Although little detail is known about the exploits and missions of the early Hornets, available
information and accounts acknowledge them as some of the most distinguished fighting ships in
American naval history.

   In 1775, the first Hornet, along with her sister ship the Wasp, became one of the first two ships in
the fledgling Continental Navy. The first Hornet, a converted merchant sloop fitted out with nine
ten-pounder guns, established what was to become one of the most distinguished names in
American naval history by her performance and gallantry in the American Revolution.

   In 1805, the second Hornet carried the Marines to "the shores of Tripoli", and in a one-hour
canon duel silenced the Citadel at Djerna and landed the Marines in the deciding action of the
against the Barbary Pirates.

   The sixth Hornet was a steel steam yacht converted in 1898.

   The keel for the seventh Hornet (CV-8), authorized by the Naval Expansion Act of 1939, was
laid on September 25, 1939 at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News,
Virginia. Commissioned on October 20th, 1941, the new carrier was built as one of three ships of
the Yorktown class. As with her sister ships Yorktown (CV-5) and Enterprise (CV-6), she was 827
feet in length with a draft of 22 feet. Her flight deck was 114 feet wide and the beam of her hull
measured 83 feet. Her great turbines could propel her 20,000 tons up to 33 knots, while she
boasted a capacity of over 100 contemporary aircraft.

   Hornet was at sea off Norfolk on her shakedown cruise when the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor signaled the start of the war. Intensive training and preparations began for the orders to
the Pacific that everyone aboard knew were soon to come. A hint that those orders would be
delayed came on February 2, 1942 when two Army B-25 Mitchell medium bombers were hoisted
aboard Hornet's deck in Norfolk. Hornet put to sea a few hours later and the B-25's were
launched to evaluate the feasibility of these large land based planes to take off from the confines
of a carrier at sea.

   Hornet departed Norfolk on March 4th en route to the West Coast via the Panama Canal,
arriving at Alameda Naval Air Station's pier two after a short stop in San Diego. On April 1, 1942,
16 B-25s were towed to the dock alongside Hornet and hoisted aboard. Lieutenant Colonel James
H. Doolittle and the 70 officers and 64 enlisted men of his squadron reported aboard. Hornet's
crew assumed they were ferrying the bombers to Hawaii or some other South Pacific island.

   Hornet and her screen of escorts sailed under sealed orders on April 2nd as "Task Force 16.2".
That afternoon captain Marc Mitscher came over the ship's public address system and informed
the crew that the Army pilots were being transported across the Pacific where they would take off
to bomb Tokyo. Shouts of joy could be heard throughout the ship. Task force 16.1, consisting of
the U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6) and her escorts, joined Hornet on April 13. Since Hornet's own
aircraft were tucked away on her hanger deck to make room to B-25s, Enterprise's aircraft would
provide aerial patrol to protect the combined group.

   Although the original plan was to launch to B-25s on the 19th (400 miles from Japan), the sighting
of a Japanese picket ship on the morning of the 18th meant the element surprise was gone.
Doolittle conferred with Halsey and the decision was made to launch immediately even though the
Japanese coast was still 650 miles away. In spite of gale force winds of 45 knots and 30 foot swells
that pitched the ship furiously, the 16 bombers were launch successfully. The raid caused only
superficial damage, but was a boost to American moral in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Of the 80
pilots and crewmen, 73 survived the raid. The Japanese executed three of the seven men who died.

   Hornet arrived at Pearl Harbor a week later and set sail on the 30th two assist Lexington (CV-2)
and Yorktown at the Battle of the Coral Sea, but she arrived too late to take part. After escorting
the damaged Yorktown to Pearl Harbor, she departed 48 hours later with her sister carriers to
defend the Island of Midway against an unexpected Japanese assault. During the Battle of
Midway, Hornet's entire torpedo squadron 8 was lost while attacking the Japanese carriers. The
Yorktown was sunk as a result of a combined aerial and submarine attack, while the Japanese lost
4 fleet carriers -- a loss from which they did not recover.

Sinking of the U.S.S. Hornet

The Sinking of the U.S.S. Hornet (CV-8)

  By October 1942, with Wasp (CV-7) sunk and the other carriers undergoing damage repair, Hornet
was left for short time as the only serviceable carrier in the Pacific fleet, carrying out raids on
Japanese installations in the South Pacific Islands. Hornet was rejoined by Enterprise on October
18th and immediately moved east of the Santa Cruz Islands to intercept the Japanese combined fleet
of four carriers, four Battle ships, and over 50 escorts that were steaming South to reinforce
Japanese land forces on Guadalcanal.

  While aircraft from Enterprise and Hornet carried out strikes on the enemy fleet, Japanese aircraft
appeared over the American ships. While Enterprise was hidden from the sight of the Japanese pilots
by a local rainsquall, Hornet became the focal point of a coordinated dive-bombing and torpedo plane
attack. In just in seven minutes Hornet was hit by two suicide planes, seven bombs, and two
torpedoes which knocked out her boilers, jammed her rudder at angle, and demolished her generator
rooms causing her to lose all electrical power. Hours later the gallant ship had been taken under tow
when 6 enemy torpedo planes appeared overhead and Hornet to look another torpedo hit on her
starboard side. The ship's list quickly increased from 7 to 18 degrees and it seemed she might keep
rolling and capsize. Captain Mason gave the order to abandon ship and at 1625 was last man to
leave the dying ship.

   The destroyers Mustin and Anderson were ordered to sink the great carrier to prevent her falling
into enemy hands and, after taking nine more torpedoes and over 300 rounds of 5" shells, Hornet
remained defiant, refusing to sink. When a large Japanese surface force was detected on radar, the
destroyers withdrew from to the area, leaving Hornet blazing throughout her whole length. Two
Japanese destroyers, hastening the inevitable, closed and fired four large 24-inch torpedoes into her
at 2120.  At 0135 October 27th, 1942, amid the roaring hiss of escaping air and boiling steel, Hornet
slipped beneath the surface to an eternal grave under 16,000 feet of water off the Santa Cruz Islands.
Hornet was only one year and six days old when she went down. A warm breeze blew across the
water, the stars sparkled in a clear night sky, and the sea was quiet and still again.

U.S.S. Hornet Association

U.S.S. Hornet Website

U.S.S. Hornet Museum

Naval Historical Center

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