The USS Hornet CV-12 is one of the 24 legendary Essex-class aircraft carriers built during and after World War II. Built at Newport News, Virginia, and the eighth ship to be named “Hornet,” she is one of the most decorated ships of the US Navy.
For 16 continuous months Hornet was in action in the forward areas of the Pacific combat zone, sometimes within 40 miles of the Japanese home islands.
Under air attack 59 times, she was never seriously damaged.
Her aircraft destroyed 1,410 Japanese aircraft, only Essex exceeded this record.
Her air groups destroyed or damaged 1,269,710 tons of enemy shipping.
72 enemy aircraft shot down in one day during the famous “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.”
10 Hornet pilots attained "Ace in a Day" status.
255 aircraft shot down in a month.
30 of 42 VF-2 Hellcat pilots were aces.
Supported nearly every Pacific amphibious landing after March 1944.
Scored the critical first hits in sinking the super battleship YAMATO.
Launched the first carrier aircraft strikes in support of the liberation of the Philippine Islands.
In 1945 launched the first strikes against Tokyo since the 1942 Doolittle Raid.
"A HERITAGE OF EXCELLENCE" is the ship's creed:
Hornet participated in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the first moon missions.
Earned 9 battle stars for her service in WWII
Awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her WWII operations (only nine carriers so cited).
Flawlessly recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule and the first men to walk on the moon. A few months later, she also recovered the Apollo 12 capsule and its all-Navy crew; 1969
USS Hornet (CVS-12) is designated a National Historic Landmark; 1991
Hornet opens to the public as an aircraft carrier museum in Alameda, California; 1998
USS Hornet is designated a State Historic Landmark; 1999.
The F/A-18 strike fighter carries on the name of Hornet in today's NAVY