Constructed in 1942, the USS Hornet is an Essex class CV-12 United States Naval aircraft carrier originally named the USS Kearsarge. The ship was renamed to Hornet in honor of the USS Hornet (CV-8), which was lost in October 1942 during WWII, becoming the eighth ship to bear the name.
The ship was commissioned in November of 1943, and after three months of training joined the U.S. forces in the Pacific War. The USS hornet played a major part in the Pacific battles of World War II, and also took part in Operation Magic Carpet, returning troops back to the U.S. Following World War II, it served in the Vietnam War, and also played a part in the Apollo program, recovering astronauts as they returned from the Moon.
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.
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.
Hornet was finally decommissioned in 1970. It was eventually designated as a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark, and in 1998 opened to the public as the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California.
Due to its extensive history in war, the ship has suffered numerous casualties, the result of which has lead to claims of the USS Hornet being one of the (if not the most) haunted ships in the world. Reports over the decades from crew members, visitors, and volunteers claim seeing shadow figures, full bodied apparitions, strange light anomalies, as well as experiencing residual haunts. Phantom footsteps, disembodied voices, and even claims of hearing a dog in the engine room are also reported by visitors. It is an incredible national treasure, and a place where some of our best pieces of paranormal evidence were captured.
If you are interested in learning more about the USS Hornet, please visit the official site here: http://www.uss-hornet.org/