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USS Hornet (CV-12)

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Laid down:
Commissioned:29 November 1943
Decommissioned:26 June 1970
General Characteristics
Displacement:27,100 tons
Length:872 ft (266 m)
Beam:93 ft (28.4 m)
Extreme Width:147.5 ft (45 m)
Draft:28.7 ft (8.8 m)
Speed:33 knots
Complement:3,448 officers and men
Armament:12 x 5-inch/38 DP guns, 68 x 40mm Bofors AA autocannon

The contract to build Kearsarge had been given to Newport News Shipbuilding on 9 September 1940, and her keel was laid down 3 August 1942. The seventh Hornet (CV-8) was sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz on 26 October 1942, and the CV-12 hull was renamed Hornet. She was launched 30 August 1943 and commissioned 29 November 1943.

For 16 continuous months she 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 hit.

Her aircraft destroyed 1410 Japanese aircraft; only USS Essex exceeded this record. Ten of her pilots attained "Ace in a Day" status; 30 of her 42 VF-2 Hellcat pilots were aces. In one day, her aircraft shot down 72 enemy aircraft, and in one month, they shot down 255 aircraft.

Hornet supported nearly every Pacific amphibious landing after March 1944. Her air groups destroyed or damaged 1,269,710 tons of enemy shipping, and scored the critical first hits in sinking the battleship Yamato. In 1945, she launched the first strikes against Tokyo since the 1942 Doolittle Raid.

Hornet earned nine battle stars for her service in World War II, and was one of nine carriers to be awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

In June 1946, Hornet was decommissioned, but on 11 September 1953, she was recommissioned as an attack carrier (CVA-12). On 27 June 1958, she was redesignated CVS-12 (anti-submarine warfare support carrier) and in August entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for CVS conversion.

In 1969, Hornet recovered both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 astronaut crews.

Hornet was again decommissioned on 26 June 1970, and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 25 July 1989.

In 1991, Hornet (CVS-12) was designated a National Historic Landmark, and on 17 October 1998, she was recommissioned and opened to the public as an aircraft carrier museum in Alameda, California. She was designated a California State Historic Landmark in 1999. She is listed on the National Register of Historic places, #91002065.

General Characteristics