Former Crew Members to Honor Famous Aircraft Carrier and USS Hornet Museum
The USS Hornet will take a unique approach to saluting America’s military veterans. On Saturday, Nov. 16, crew members from significant engagements in U.S. history will return to the the USS Hornet – the aircraft carrier on which they served – to share their stories. The veterans will share their memories during a special panel discussion beginning at 1 p.m. The public and media are invited to attend.
This historic return commemorates Veteran’s Day, the 70th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Hornet, and the 15th anniversary of the USS Hornet Museum. The museum is a national leader in naval and aerospace exhibits and programs. To mark this special event, the anniversary exhibit, “Hornet: Reflections through Time” will be unveiled to the public.
“This is an event that has been seven decades in the making. Hornet crewmembers joining us on November 16th served aboard the carrier during some of the greatest events of the 20th century, including World War II, Vietnam, and Apollo 11 and 12 lunar module recoveries following America’s manned space missions to the Moon,” said Randall Ramian, USS Hornet chief executive officer. “We are honored to host such distinguished veterans, and on such an historic occasion as the Hornet’s 70th anniversary of service.”
The emcee of the panel discussion will be Capt. Gerald G. Lutz (retired). Lutz spearheaded the Aircraft Carrier Hornet Foundation (ACHF), the nonprofit organization that saved the Hornet from the scrap heap and converted the historic ship into a world-class museum. Lutz also served as the ACHF’s first chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
Among the former Hornet crew members scheduled to join Lutz will be WWII pilots who flew off the deck of the Hornet into many Pacific battles; a Korean War pilot who flew 90 combat missions; a Navy helicopter pilot with two tours in Vietnam; a Marine present for the 1969 recovery of the Apollo 11 astronauts and lunar capsule after man walked on the Moon, and the Apollo curator of the USS Hornet Museum, who created the museum’s spacecraft recovery exhibit. (Interviews with crewmen/panelists can be arranged before and after the Hornet Anniversary events.)
The afternoon panel and anniversary ceremonies are part of the daylong Hornet Anniversary Living Ship celebration, which will run from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. The ceremony introducing the special anniversary exhibit, Hornet: Reflections through Time, will take place at 2:30 p.m.
The new permanent exhibit compellingly showcases the history of all eight Hornets, beginning with the circa-Revolutionary War Hornet christened in 1775. Particular attention is paid to Hornet (CV-8), famous for launching the Doolittle Raid, and Hornet (CVS-12), renowned for her participation in World War II, Vietnam, and the Apollo 11 and 12 lunar recovery missions. The exhibit also spotlights the carrier’s decommissioning in 1970 and ongoing service today as a leading Bay Area museum and international tourist destination.
During the evening of Nov. 16th, from 6-11 p.m., the ACHF will host the USS Hornet’s 70th Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser. Special guest will be celebrated Apollo 12 Astronaut Dick Gordon. Also in attendance will be the Hornet crew members from the afternoon panel. Ticketholders will enjoy a gourmet buffet dinner with hosted bar, live and silent auctions, notable musical performances, and surprise guests. For more information or tickets, call(510) 521-8448 x411 or go online.
The special USS Hornet 70th Anniversary poster is also available for purchase online or in the museum gift shop. In June of this year, the Hornet Museum invited students from San Francisco State University’s Department of Design and Industry to submit designs that incorporated the carrier’s history into the celebration of the its 70th anniversary. The winner of the Hornet’s poster design contest was Bay Area illustrator and graphic designer, Sam Luu.
All proceeds from sales of the 70th Anniversary Poster, as well as the Nov. 16 gala fundraiser, will benefit the Education and Museum Department of the USS Hornet Museum. The museum will utilize the funds for carrier restoration and the development of educational exhibits for Bay Area schools in order to enable everyone to experience the rich history and promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
“The USS Hornet invites the San Francisco Bay Area community and people across the United States to help support the USS Hornet Museum through their financial donations,” said Ramian. “To become a Hornet supporter, a member of the ACHF, or to make a donation of any size, please go to the Hornet website.”
The USS Hornet is located at 707 W. Hornet Ave, Pier 3, in Alameda, CA. Ample free parking is available across the pier.
About the 70th Anniversary Daytime Events: To learn about the family-friendly events running from 11 a.m. -4 p.m. on Nov. 16th, go to http://www.uss-hornet.org/calendar/liveship/. Regular Museum Admission applies. A “cash bar” BBQ featuring local breweries will be featured.
About the 70th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser: From 6:00 p.m. -11 p.m. Black tie or period attire is optional. For tickets and information on Sponsorship opportunities, VIP benefits, and members’ tables for the Nov.16th gala, go to http://usshornet.stores.yahoo.net/70anga.html or call (510) 521-8448 x411. Tickets will also be available at the door. Museum admission passes & discount coupons are not valid at this gala-fundraiser. Proceeds benefit the USS Hornet Museum, a 501(c) 3 Non-Profit Organization.