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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

(later CVA-12 and CVS-12)

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After SCB-27A Modernization
CV-12 Hornet

On April 26, 1952 USS Wasp (CV-18) collided with destroyer minesweeper Hobson (DMS-26) while conducting night flight operations in the Atlantic, en route to Gibraltar. Hobson was cut in two and sank. Rapid rescue operations saved 61 men, but Hobson lost 176 of her crew, including her skipper. Although Wasp sustained no personnel casualties her hull was severely damaged, with a 30 x 50-foot bite gouged out of the bow. With the carrier urgently needed for duty in the Mediterranean, preparations for repairs were begun immediately.

Wasp carefully proceeded to Bayonne, N.J., entered drydock there on 8 May and her damaged bow was cleared out with blow torches. The following day, the bow of aircraft carrier Hornet (CV-12) —then undergoing conversion in Brooklyn, N.Y.— was cut off and floated by barge across the bay. It was fitted into position under Wasp that afternoon, with steel plates to close any remaining gaps, and workers began round-the-clock welding operations. This remarkable repair task, which including replacing 61 lifeboats and refitting the carrier's anchor chain, was completed in only 10 days, enabling the carrier to get underway on 21 May. Shifting south to Norfolk, the crew spent a short three days preparing for deployment and Wasp sailed east across the Atlantic on 24 May.

From "All Hands" magazine, July 1952 issue:

(NS021294) Bow from Hornet has been cut by acetylene torch and rests on rolling scaffolding.

(NS021294a) Section of Hornet's bow has been moved clear of the Hornet and workmen attach crane hooks so that the section can be hoisted onto a barge.

From "All Hands" magazine, October 1957 issue:

(NS021294b) Bow from Hornet moves across NYNSY to repair Wasp.

(See also NS021863.)

Stanley Svec
CV-12 Hornet
CV-12 Hornet
600k USN
CVA-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVA-12) just after her SCB-27A modernization at the New York Naval Shipyard, May 12, 1951 – September 11, 1953. From "Our Navy" magazine, mid-February 1954.

Stanley Svec
CVA-12 Hornet

Leaving Brooklyn Navy Yard, Fall 1953.

Ken Kauffman
CV-12 Hornet

En route to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 10 January 1954, during shakedown following completion of her SCB-27A modernization.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-17108).

Scott Dyben
CV-12 Hornet
117k USS Hornet,13 August 1954, South China Sea preparing to refuel DD-642. USN
CV-12 Hornet
113k 13 August 1954, South China Sea, from aboard the USS Hale (DD-642), when we were refueling from the carrier. USN
CV-12 Hornet

McDonnell F2H-3 "Banshee" jet fighters parked on the carrier's flight deck, during Seventh Fleet operations in the Far East, 1 October 1954. Plane closest to the camera is Bureau # 127542.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-663584).

Scott Dyben
After SCB-125 Modernization
CVS-12 Hornet
19k Undated, Post SCB-125 (56) Overhaul. USN
CVS-12 Hornet
70k Underway off Point Loma, date unknown. Richard Miller
CVA-12 Hornet
181k Underway off Point Loma, circa 1957. Postcard from Strand Co., San Francisco, CA. David Buell
CVA-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVA-12), circa 1957, during an UNREP with USS Castor (AKS-1) and an unidentified destroyer.

David Buell
CVA-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVA-12) departing San Diego, possibly at the beginning of her 1958 WestPac deployment (2 January–2 July), with Air Task Group (ATG) 4 aboard.

David Buell
CVA-12 Hornet

As CVA-12, heading to Westpac during her January 21 – July 25, 1957 cruise. Official US Navy Photograph # CVA-12-3905 (L) 5-57, from the Naval Photographic Center, Naval District, Washington DC.

Robert M. Cieri
CVA-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVA-12) conducting an UNREP with USS Ashtabula (AO-51) and USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887), probably during her 1958 WestPac deployment (2 January–2 July), with Air Task Group (ATG) 4 aboard. US Navy photo.

David Buell
CVA-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVA-12) off Hawaii, 20 January 1958, with Air Task Group (ATG) 4 aboard.

John Woodard, son of CAPT W.K. Woodard, USN (Ret)
CVA-12 Hornet

Recovering aboard USS Hornet (CVA-12)—photos taken from the nose camera of the incoming aircraft, obviously.

This WestPac deployment (6 January–2 July 1958) was Hornet's last as an attack carrier (CVA). She was reclassified as an ASW support carrier and redesignated CVS-12 on 27 June 1958.

Then CDR W.K. Woodard was the ship's supply officer during the 1958 and 1959 (4 April–10 October) deployments.

Squadrons were: VF-94 (FJ-3M Furies), VF-152 "Friendlies" (F2H-3 Banshees), VA-214 "Volunteers" (FJ-4B Furies), VA-216 "Black Diamonds" (AD-7 Skyraiders), VAH-6 Det. K "Fleurs" (AJ-2 Savages), VAH-16 Det. K "White Blades" (AJ-2 Savages), VAW-11 Det. K "Early Eleven" (AD-5W Skyraiders), VA(AW)-35 Det. K "Night Hecklers" (AD-5N Skyraiders), VFP-61 Det. K "Eyes of the Fleet" (F9F-8P Cougars), and HU-1 Det. K "Pacific Fleet Angels" (HUP-2 Retrievers).

During this cruise the Air Group Commander, CDR R.L. Johns, made the 50,000 landing since recommissioning.

CVA-12 Hornet
CVA-12 Hornet
CVS-12 Hornet
7.28M USS Hornet (CVS-12), scale: 1/16" = 1'-0". Plan No. CVS12 S0103-H-331331. Forecastle Deck, Gallery Deck, Main Deck, Second Deck, Third Deck. Courtesy of the Historic Naval Ships Association
CVS-12 Hornet

Yokosuka, Japan, circa August–September 1959.

The ship to the right is USS Thetis Bay (LPH-6). "In August 1959, Thetis Bay was serving with the 7th Fleet when floods on Taiwan left thousands homeless. On the 12th, she was ordered to proceed from Hong Kong to Taiwan and use her 21 large troop-carrying helicopters to aid the flood victims. By the end of the assistance operation, at noon of the 20th, the ship had delivered a total of 1,600,540 pounds of supplies to the destitute Chinese. In addition, her helicopters had lifted 850 passengers to and from various sites in the flooded area." (Quoted from DANFS, "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.")

Photo by Derick S. Hartshorn
CVS-12 Hornet

"Sailors and aircraft are loaded aboard the antisubmarine carrier Hornet CVS-12. Hornet, which came from Long Beach for the loading, is one of 19 ships which left today for a seven month deployment to the Western Pacific." United Press International photograph #KMP-060701-6/7/62, San Diego, CA.

With Antisubmarine Carrier Air Group 57 (CVSG-57) aboard, Hornet deployed on June 6, 1962 and returned home on December 21.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-12 Hornet

"These are pictures I took in the Spring of 1962 on a West-Pac cruise en route from Long Beach to Pearl. The pictures are from the USS O'Brien (DD-725) of the USS Hornet (CVS-12) on a Sunday afternoon. Notice the band on the flight deck. The water wasn't too bad that day but around sixty feet of the keel was coming out of the water and it was bad enough that the oil hose came loose on the O'Brien. The Snipes must have worked for days cleaning up that mess."

Hornet deployed to WestPac between 6 June and 21 December 1962, with Antisubmarine Carrier Air Group (CVSG) 57:

  • VS-35 "Boomerangers," with S2F-3 Trackers
  • VS-37 "Sawbucks," with S2F-3 Trackers
  • HS-2 "Golden Falcons," with HSS-2 Sea Kings
  • VAW-11 "Early Eleven," Det. N, with AD-5W Skyraiders
Ken Darby, MR
CVS-12 Hornet
CVS-12 Hornet
CVS-12 Hornet
CVS-12 Hornet
CVS-12 Hornet

View of the island of USS Hornet (CVS-12), taken during her 1962 WestPac cruise, 6 June–21 December.

Richard Kenneth Palmatary, AMS3, VS-35, CVS-12.
CVS-12 Hornet

S2F-3 (S-2D under the 1962 designation system) Tracker, BuNo 148734, assigned to Antisubmarine Squadron (VS) 35 "Boomerangers," Antisubmarine Carrier Air Group (CVSG) 57, deployed aboard USS Hornet (CVS-12) during the ship's 1962 cruise. AMS3 Palmatary was the plane captain, and his name was stenciled under the cockpit (it is clearly visible on the original print).

Richard Kenneth Palmatary, AMS3, VS-35, CVS-12.
CVS-12 Hornet

Richard K. Palmatary (left) and friend (Gibson) in front of Diamond Bar in "Thieves Alley," Yokosuka, Japan, 2 November 1962.

Richard Kenneth Palmatary, AMS3, VS-35, CVS-12.
CVS-12 Hornet

AMS3 Richard K. Palmatary in his shop's entrance, USS Hornet (CVS-12), 1962 Cruise.

CVS-12 Hornet
181k Underway with Antisubmarine Carrier Air Group 57 (CVSG-57), circa 1962–1964. Official US Navy photograph. David Buell
CVS-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVS-12) at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. The photo may have been taken in late January–mid-February 1965, at the end of her FRAM II modernization.

Bow of USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) is visible on the right-center of the picture, stern of USS Braine (DD-630) on the bottom, and USS Chicago (CG-11) on the left-center.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVS-12 Hornet + AO-64 + DD-445

USS Tolovana (AO-64) conducts a replenishment at sea (RAS), 19 December 1965, simultaneously with USS Hornet (CVS-12) and USS Fletcher (DD-445) in the Sea of Japan. Hornet and Fletcher were engaged in anti-submarine warfare exercises.

US Navy photograph from US Naval Photographic Center, Naval Station Anacostia, Washington DC., by JO1 J.F. Falk, USN.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-12 Hornet

An SH-3A Sea King ASW helicopter and an A-4C Skyhawk stand ready to take-off in defense of USS Hornet (CVS-12) while operating in the South China Sea, circa 1965–1966. (USN photo.)

From "Aircraft Carriers," by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
CVS-12 Hornet

USS Cimarron (AO-22), with USS Hornet (CVS-12), and USS Nicholas (DD-449), during underway replenishment activities off the coast of North Viet Nam, circa 1966. At that time these three ships had accumulated nearly 75 years of Navy service between them.

US Navy photo # USN 1115952, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.

CVS-12 Hornet

Aerial view looking to the northwest of Hunters Point Navy Yard with USS Hornet (CVS-12) moored on 30 September 1966. On the far side of Hornet is Dry Dock No. 4 occupied by a cruiser, probably USS Columbus (CG-12). Aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) and destroyer escort USS Hooper (DE-1026) can be identified, on the right side of the photo.

Library of Congress, HAER CAL,38-SANFRA,195AŚ7.

Library of Congress, via Mike Green
CVS-12 Hornet

(Mar 27–Oct 28, 1967, WestPac/Vietnam Deployment) The Antisubmarine Warfare Support Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet (CVS-12) steams into the wind, at the start of a fixed-wing launch cycle. She is shown in her final configuration nearing the end of her service life. The large SPN-35 dome, on the aft of the island, houses the Carrier Controlled Approach radars. Hornet embarks CVSG-57, tailcode NV, which consists of the following squadrons: VS-35 "Boomerangers" S-2E, VS-37 "Sawbucks" S-2E, HS-2 "Golden Falcons" SH-3A, VAW-11 "Early Eleven" E-1B.

Official Navy Photo from the USS Hornet (CVS-12) Public Affairs Office.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-12 Hornet

An SH-3 Sea King damaged by gunfire being hoisted off the fantail of USS Long Beach (CGN-9) by the deck crane of USS Hornet (CVS-12) while in the Tonkin Gulf, Saturday, 27 May 1967.

Stan Janocha
CVS-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVS-12) receives fuel and ordnance from USS Sacramento (AOE-1), during replenishment operations in the South China Sea, June 1967. Photographed by JOC R.D. Moeser.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1142142).

NHC, via Dwayne Day
CVS-12 Hornet

As CVS-12 underway in the Gulf of Tonkin, September 5, 1967. Official US Navy Photograph # KN-15561 by PHCM W.M. Cox. From the Naval Photographic Center, Naval District, Washington DC.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-12 Hornet

As CVS-12. SH-3A Sea King Helicopters from HS-2 "Golden Falcons" fly near the ship, during operations off the coast of San Diego, July 1968. Official US Navy Photograph # K-53328. From the Naval Photographic Center, Naval Station, Washington DC.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-12 Hornet

USS Hornet (CVS-12) underway on 9 August 1968, shortly before she began her final Seventh Fleet deployment. Photographed by PHCS W.M. Cox.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1116887).

NHC, via Dwayne Day
CVS-12 Hornet

As CVS-12 during air operations off the coast of San Diego, August 23, 1968. Official US Navy Photograph # K-56723 by C.T. Elliott. From the Naval Photographic Center, Naval Station, Washington DC.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-12 Hornet
89k Underway off California. Appears to have been taken within minutes from the photo above. CSC H. R. Adams, USN (ret), via Larry Lee, RM1 USN (ret)
USS Hornet (CVS-12) was the Primary Recovery Ship for the historic lunar landing missions Apollo 11 and Apollo 12
CVS-12 Hornet

As CVS-12 in the Pacific, as an S-2E Tracker comes in for recovery, December 5, 1968. Official US Navy Photograph # KN-18759 by PHCM W.M. Cox. From the Naval Photographic Center, Naval Station, Washington DC.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-12 Hornet

Grumman E-1B Tracer aircraft on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CVS-12), during a HUKASWEX (Hunter-Killer Anti-Submarine Exercise). Photo is dated January 1970. Plane closest to the camera is Bureau # 147227.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1165636).

Naval Historical Center, via Dwayne Day
CVS-12 Hornet
41k Painting by Michael Donegan. NAVYDAZE
© Michael Donegan
CVS-12 Hornet
31k USS Hornet (CVS-12). Courtesy of CAPT Gene Oleson, CHC, USN (Ret)
CVS-12 Hornet
57k "A Heritage of Excellence." USS Hornet (CVS-12). Mike Smolinski
CVS-12 Hornet
CVS-12 Hornet

"Apollo Recovery Ship. USS Hornet CVS-12."

Carol Lee, USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum
CVS-12 Hornet

The last Official Patch for the USS Hornet CVS-12. She was towed from the San Francisco Naval Shipyard at Hunter's Point to Pier 2 at NAS Alameda on 11 May 1995. This patch commemorates that trip.

Robert M. Cieri
Ex-USS Hornet
ex CVS-12 Hornet

Four decommissioned aircraft carriers, Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Wash.: ex-USS Hornet (CVS-12), ex-USS Oriskany (CV-34), ex-USS Bennington (CVS-20), and ex-USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). Date unknown.

Tommy Trampp
ex CVS-12 Hornet

"Mothballed" at Bremerton, August 1971.

Leland Barnecut, Seattle, Washington
ex CVS-12 Hornet

"Mothballed" at Bremerton, June 13, 1984.

Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
A National Historic Landmark

December 4, 1991 — Hornet is designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.
ex CVS-12 Hornet

Aerial view of ex-USS Hornet (CVS-12), with ex-USS New Jersey (BB-62), moored across the pier, looking aft to forward down the centerline of Hornet, 1992. Both ships have other inactive ships moored to them: two Knox-class frigates outboard of New Jersey (probably ex-USS Roark (FF-1053) and ex-USS Stein (FF‑1065), outmost), and three minecraft outboard of Hornet (outmost is ex-USS Pluck (MSO-464)). Ex-USS Oriskany (CV-34) is also visible in photos NS0212ana and NS0212anc.

NS0212an: Historic American Engineering Record photo (Haer Wash.18-Brem.-3-4).

NS0212ana: Historic American Engineering Record photo (Haer Wash.18-Brem.-3-3).

NS0212anb: Historic American Engineering Record photo (Haer Wash.18-Brem.-3-12).

NS0212anc: Historic American Engineering Record photo (Haer Wash.18-Brem.-3-). Easily identifiable in this photo are also ex-USS Midway (CV-41) and USS Nimitz (CVN-68).

The Library of Congress, via Mike Green
ex CVS-12 Hornet
ex CVS-12 Hornet
ex CVS-12 Hornet
276k The Library of Congress, via Bill Gonyo
CV-12 Hornet

This photo was taken on March 13, 1993 at Bremerton, Washington. Next to the Hornet is the battleship ex-USS New Jersey (BB-62). Reserve Fleet. Photo courtesy of Dwayne Miles.

Photo was taken and is © by Chuck Self. Used with permission.

© Chuck Self
CV-12 Hornet
69k This photo taken in April 1995 when she hosted the Doolittle Raid commemoration at Alameda. Lacy Lee (RM1 Ret)
USS Hornet Museum
Hornet Museum
76k USS Hornet Museum, 1999. Stephen Renouard
Hornet Museum
CVS-12 Hornet

Ex-USS Hornet (CVS-12) at her permanent mooring at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, San Francisco Bay, in August 1999. Compare to photo NS0212bn.

From Warship Boneyards, by Kit and Carolyn Bonner.

Submitted by Robert Hurst.
CVS-12 Hornet
73k Alameda NAS, Fall 2002. Roy C. Thomas
CVS-12 Hornet
CVS-12 Hornet
75k This close up, taken in the fall of 2002, shows the island much as it appeared in the mid- to late-1960s. Prominent in this photo are (left to right): the big radome housing the SPN-35 blind-landing radar; the large, rectangular antenna of the long-wave, long-range SPS-43A air search radar; and the "dish" of the SPS-30 height-finder. Also visible are some conical "Phasor 90" radio antennas and one set of transmitting and receiving antennas of the ULQ-6 ECM system, cantilevered out from the flight deck level. The empty pedestal atop the navigation bridge once supported a Mk.37 GFCS. Photo by Roy C. Thomas
CVS-12 Hornet

Hornet Museum, Alameda, San Francisco Bay, California. Believed to have been taken on 18 December 2003.

Derick S. Hartshorn
Larger copy submitted by Bob Fish
CVS-12 Hornet

Hornet Museum, Alameda, San Francisco Bay, California. Close-up view of the island. Believed to have been taken on 18 December 2003.

Bob Fish
CVS-12 Hornet
157k USS Hornet Museum, Alameda, San Francisco Bay, California. Circa 2005–2008. Google Earth photo, submitted by George Lipphardt
CVS-12 Hornet

Hornet Museum, Alameda, San Francisco Bay, California. Ship's bow at night. Believed to have been taken on 26 November 2006.

Bob Fish
CVS-12 Hornet

Hornet Museum, Alameda, San Francisco Bay, California, 27 September 2018. Compare to photo NS021200.

Photo by Sebastian Singman‑Aste, via Robert Hurst
CV-12 Hornet

Artwork for the Hornet Museum, by Steve Whitby.

She is shown in her World War II appearance, wearing Measure 33, Design 3a camouflage.

Steve Whitby
More photos of the USS Hornet Museum

For more photos of this ship, see:

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
USS Hornet Association
USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum

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Last update: 11 August 2019