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USS Hornet CV-12
USS Hornet CV-12

The USS Hornet (CV-12/CVA-12/CVS-12) is an Essex-class fleet aircraft carrier, and the eighth United States ship to bear the name.

The Hornet had an extraordinary combat record in WW II, engaging the enemy in the Pacific in March 1944, just 21 months after the laying of her keel and the shortest shakedown cruise in Navy history (2 weeks). For eighteen months, she never touched land. She was constantly in the most forward areas of the Pacific war - sometimes within 40 miles of the Japanese home islands. Her pilots destroyed 1,410 enemy aircraft and over one million tons of enemy shipping. Her planes stopped the Japanese super-battleship Yamato and played the major part in sinking her. She launched the first strikes in the liberation of the Philippines, and in Feb. 1945, the first strikes on Japan since the Doolittle raid in 1942. The "Grey Ghost" participated in virtually all of the assault landings in the Pacific from March 1944 until the end of WW II, earning 9 battle stars and the Presidential Unit citation.

In 1969, Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule containing astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. A short time later, she recovered Apollo 12.

USS Hornet is a National Historic Landmark and a State Historical Landmark. [HNSA]

Launched 30 August 1943
Decommissioned (final) 26 June 1970
Length 894 feet
Beam 101 ft. at waterline
192 ft. at angled deck
Draft 30 ft.
Displacement 41,200 tons fully loaded
Crew (WW II) 3,600 - 4,000 including Air Wing
Armaments (WW II) (12) 5-in. 38-cal. (4 twin mounts, 4 single)
(10) 40 mm quad mounts
(59) 20 mm single mounts
Engines (4) Westinghouse Geared Turbines
Boilers (8) Babcock & Wilcox M-Type