A brief history of the USS Hornet
August 1942: Keel laid for CV-12 as USS Kearsarge.
October 1942: renamed USS Hornet after Hornet CV-8 was sunk
at the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.
CV-12 was commissioned in November 1943 after only 13
months. After a hurried training and shakedown. She joined the
fleet in the Pacific.
From 1943 to 1945 Hornet took part 59 major battles with
Japanese naval and air forces. She holds the record for most
enemy aircraft destroyed both in the air and on the ground.
June 1945: USS Hornet severely damaged in Typhoon Cobra a.k.
a. Halsey’s Typhoon. She was forced out of the war and returned
to San Francisco for repair and refit. Before repairs were
completed the war had ended. She then took part in Operation
Magic Carpet, transporting troops back to the US from islands in
the Pacific.
1947: USS Hornet was decommissioned and placed in storage.
1953: USS Hornet was re-commissioned as CVA-12. (“A”
designates “ATTACK”).
1956: Major refit and addition of angle deck.
1958: Re-designated CVS-12 (“S” designates “Anti-Submarine”)
1960 – 1970: She operates with Seventh Fleet in Pacific area.
She did several tours on Yankee Station off the coast of North
July 1969: Hornet is the recovery ship for the Apollo 11 mission,
the first men to walk on the moon. A few months later she
recovered Apollo 12.
1970: USS Hornet CVS-12 is decommissioned and placed in
reserve status.
July 1989: USS Hornet is formally stricken from the records.
1991: Hornet was designated A National Historic Landmark.
1995: She is saved from the dismantlers torch. The Aircraft
Carrier Hornet Foundation (AC HF) is formed to preserve her as a
October 1998: Hornet officially opens as a Museum.
Present: the USS Hornet is moored at pier 2 at the former Naval
Air Station Alameda in Alameda, California.
The Hornet Museum Ship  Website