Online Library of Selected Images
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USS Hornet (CV-8), 1941-1942
Overview and Special Image Selection

USS Hornet, a 19,800 ton Yorktown class aircraft carrier, was constructed at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned in October 1941, she spent the next four months shaking down in the Atlantic. Transferred to the Pacific in March 1942, Hornet was immediately employed on the Doolittle raid. On 18 April 1942, she launched 16 Army B-25 bombers to attack Japan, a strike that caused relatively little damage, but which had enormous strategic implications.

Hornet was then sent to the South Pacific to reinforce U.S. units there following the Battle of Coral Sea, but was recalled to Pearl Harbor in mid-May. She then took part in the Battle of Midway, on 4-6 June, during which her planes shared in the sinking of the Japanese cruiser Mikuma.

In August 1942, Hornet returned to the South Pacific to join in the fight for Guadalcanal. During much of September and October, she was the only operational U.S. aircraft carrier available to oppose the Japanese in that area. On 26 October 1942, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, her planes attacked and badly damaged the Japanese carrier Shokaku. In return, however, Hornet received heavy bomb and torpedo damage, necessitating her abandonment. Though accompanying U.S. destroyers attempted to scuttle her, she remained afloat until torpedoed and sunk by Japanese ships early in the morning of 27 October.

This page contains selected views concerning USS Hornet (CV-8).

Click image for a larger view


Photo #: NH 81313

USS Hornet (CV-8)


Photographed circa late 1941, soon after completion, probably at a U.S. east coast port.
A ferry boat and "Eagle Boat" (PE) are in the background.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 99KB; 740 x 600 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-41197

Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 1942


USS Hornet (CV-8) launches Army Air Force B-25B bombers, at the start of the first U.S. air raid on the Japanese home islands, 18 April 1942.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 99KB; 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-41196

Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 1942


An Army Air Force B-25B bomber takes off from USS Hornet (CV-8) at the start of the raid, 18 April 1942.
Note men watching from the signal lamp platform at right.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 114KB; 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-16865

USS Hornet (CV-8)


Arrives at Pearl Harbor after the Doolittle Raid on Japan, 30 April 1942.
PT-28 and PT-29 are speeding by in the foreground.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 63KB; 740 x 625 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-14866

USS Hornet (CV-8)


Underway in the Southern Pacific, 15 May 1942, a week after the Battle of Coral Sea and the day before she was recalled to Pearl Harbor to prepare for the Battle of Midway.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 61KB; 740 x 595 pixels

Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-66132

USS Hornet (CV-8)


Enters Pearl Harbor, 26 May 1942. She left two days later to take part in the Battle of Midway.
Photographed from Ford Island Naval Air Station, with two aircraft towing tractors parked in the center foreground.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 123KB; 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-66129

USS Hornet (CV-8)


At Pearl Harbor, 26 May 1942, just after the Battle of Coral Sea, and just before the Battle of Midway.
Harbor tug Nokomis (YT-142) is underway alongside her.
Note paint chipped off Hornet's waterline area by wave action while at sea.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 71KB; 740 x 620 pixels

Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-33947

Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942


A Japanese Type 99 shipboard bomber (Allied codename "Val") trails smoke as it dives toward USS Hornet (CV-8), during the morning of 26 October 1942. This plane struck the ship's stack and then her flight deck.
A Type 97 shipboard attack plane ("Kate") is flying over Hornet after dropping its torpedo, and another "Val" is off her bow.
Note anti-aircraft shell burst between Hornet and the camera, with its fragments striking the water nearby.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

 
Photo #: 80-G-40300

Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942


Damage to the smokestack and signal bridge of USS Hornet (CV-8) after it was struck by a crashing Japanese dive bomber, during the morning of 26 October 1942.
Smoke at bottom is from fires started when the plane subsequently hit the flight deck.
Note ship's tripod mast, with CXAM radar antenna in top left and the flag still flying above the damaged structure.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 104KB; 590 x 765 pixels

Reproductions may also be available through the National Archives.

 

For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.




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