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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Hornet

 

A large strong wasp whose sting is severe

 

III

 

(Brig: t. 440; l.106'9"; b. 31'5"; dr. 14'; a. 18 g.)

 

The third Hornet was launched 28 July 1805 by William Price of Baltimore, Md.; commissioned there 18 October 1805, Master Commandant Isaac Chauncey in command.

 

Hornet cruised the Atlantic coast until 29 March 1806 when she sailed to join the squadron protecting American commerce from threats of piracy in the Mediterranean. She returned to Charleston 29 November 1807 and was decommissioned.

 

Hornet recommissioned 26 December 1808. She transported General James Wilkinson to New Orleans, cruised in home waters to enforce the Embargo Act, and carried dispatches to Holland, France, and England. This service was intervened November 1810 to September 1811 during which time Hornet was rebuilt and ship-rigged in the Washington Navy Yard.

 

Cruising with Commodore John Bodgers' Squadron during the War of 1812, Hornet captured privateer Dolphin 9 July 1812, only to have Dolphin recaptured while en route to the United States. After assisting the blockade of the Brazilian port of Bahia, she captured HMS Peacock in a short but skillfully fought engagement off British Guiana 24 February 1813.

 

Hornet sailed north to New London after capturing Peacock. She was blockaded there until 14 November 1814 when she slipped past British cruisers and took another merchant prize en route to New York. Unaware that the war had ended, she sailed south and captured HMS Penguin 23 March 1815, off the island of Tristan da Cunha.

 

After a cruise to the West Indies and Copenhagen in 1818; and, a second to the Mediterranean in 1819, Hornet based at Key West and Pensacola, Fla., to help end piracy in the Caribbean Sea. She captured the pirate schooner Moscow 29 October 1821 off the coast of Santo Domingo.

 

She cruised throughout the Caribbean for the next 9 years, departing Pensacola the last time 4 March 1829. She set course for the coast of Mexico and was never seen again. On 27 October 1829 the commander of the West Indies Squadron received information that Hornet had been dismasted in a gale off Tampico 29 September 1829 and had foundered with the loss of all hands.