Trip report — USS Hornet, February 2018

One of the best things about my work, is that every so often, I need to travel and I find some time to visit great aviation venues. This time, I got to visit aviation on a naval venue, when I traveled to San Francisco. Took a ferry over to Alameda on a Sunday morning and after a long walk from the ferry, I found myself on the old Alameda Naval Air Station. This is also the home of the USS Hornet (CV-12).

Walked in from the front entrance, found this Vought A-7 Corsair II (BuNo 154362) on a pole.

After about another mile of walking, found the USS Hornet. The USS Hornet is a WW2 veteran after joining the fleet in 1944 and participated in Pacific Fleet operations. After the war, she was put into the reserve fleet until 1951 when she put back in to active duty. In 1955, she was modernized with an angled flight deck. In 1958, the USS Hornet was redesignated as CVS-12 with a role as a anti-submarine warfare support carrier. Deployed back into a wartime role off the coast of Vietnam in the early 60’s to support 7th Fleet operation.

The USS Hornet was active with the space program as the recovery ship for Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. The foot prints of the astronauts are painted on the hangar floor.

Decommissioned in 1970 and struck from the Naval Registry in 1989, the faith of the ship was in limbo, whether she could become a floating museum or scrapped. It was luck that intervened when she was brought to Alameda NAS for an open house. This has been her home ever since.

Took a tour onboard and we had a retired Navy NCO walk us around the ship to include the engine room, catapult room and living spaces. He told us stories of operations and of day-to-day life onboard. Highly recommend a visit.

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