Hornet USS CV-8 model ship
USS Hornet CV-8
Yorktown-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy.
The USS Hornet (CV-8) was one of the most famous aircraft carriers of World War II. Here’s a brief history of its notable events:
- Construction and Commissioning: The USS Hornet was laid down in 1939 and commissioned on October 20, 1941, just weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was an Essex-class aircraft carrier, the second ship to be named USS Hornet in the U.S. Navy.
- Doolittle Raid: One of the most significant events in the Hornet’s history was its involvement in the Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942. The carrier was used as the launch platform for a daring bombing raid on Tokyo and other Japanese cities, led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle. The raid provided a morale boost for the United States and demonstrated that Japan’s homeland was vulnerable to attack.
- Battle of Midway: The USS Hornet played a pivotal role in the Battle of Midway, which took place from June 4 to June 7, 1942. Hornet’s aircraft attacked Japanese carriers alongside those from the USS Enterprise and USS Yorktown, contributing to the destruction of several Japanese carriers and shifting the tide of the war in the Pacific.
- Loss at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands: During the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, fought from October 25 to October 27, 1942, the USS Hornet sustained heavy damage from enemy air attacks. Despite the efforts to save the carrier, it was eventually scuttled on October 26, 1942, after it was deemed beyond repair. Many of Hornet’s crew were transferred to other ships before the scuttling.
- Legacy: While the USS Hornet (CV-8) had a relatively short operational history, its role in critical battles and its contributions to the early stages of the Pacific War left a lasting impact. The name “Hornet” was later given to other ships in the U.S. Navy, including the modern aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-12) and the Apollo 11 recovery ship USS Hornet (CVS-12), which famously retrieved the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission after their historic moon landing in 1969.
The legacy of the USS Hornet (CV-8) lives on through its role in significant events of World War II and its enduring impact on naval history.