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blog home Destinations The USS Hornet Museum in Alameda is a Floating Museum and Important Part of History

The USS Hornet Museum in Alameda is a Floating Museum and Important Part of History

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on August 3, 2014

There have been several warships in the U.S. Navy named Hornet since the nation was founded, but when it comes to distinguished wartime service and participation in significant milestones in our nation’s history, none can match the current (and likely, last) version now moored on the east side of San Francisco Bay in Alameda. Rightfully listed as a National Historic Landmark, the USS Hornet is now a floating museum with lots of things to see, do, and learn whether you are a military history buff or not.

After being commissioned in 1942 as the USS Kearsarge, the CV-12 was renamed the Hornet after its predecessor was sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz. When the newly christened aircraft carrier sailed out of Pearl Harbor in March 1944, its new crew could not have known that it would quickly earn an unequaled combat record serving in some of the most pivotal naval battles of the Second World War. After additional service in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, she again made history when she recovered Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins after the first moon landing mission in 1969. She was decommissioned shortly thereafter and languished in a naval shipyard in Puget Sound until 1991, when she was designated as a National Historic Landmark. After extensive renovations and a relocation to Alameda, the vessel was reborn, repurposed and the USS Hornet Museum opened to the public in 1998.

Today, the museum is a popular Bay Area attraction, with a number of interesting, historical, informational and fun things to see and do, including:

  • Guided tours of different areas of the ship, including the bridge, the flight deck, the hangar deck and different areas below decks
  • Apollo 11 space mission equipment and artifacts
  • Several jet aircraft that once served on the Hornet’s decks, including a F-14A Tomcat, TA-4J Skyhawk, S-3 Viking, F-8 Crusaders and others
  • Several older propeller aircraft, including a T28-B Trojan, US-2B Tracker, TBM-3E Avenger and more
  • Several helicopters
  • Special exhibits
  • Much more!

If you want something cool to see and do, are a naval history buff, want to board and explore one of the most decorated and storied naval vessels of all time or all of these and more, then head to Alameda and visit the USS Hornet Museum. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day (gates close at 4 p.m.) except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Adult admission is $16, with tiered prices for kids, students and seniors. There is a full and lively calendar of events as well. To learn more about the USS Hornet, her history, driving and mass transit directions and more, visit the official site at

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