USS Hornet (CV-8)

Hornet returning from the Doolittle Raid. US Navy photo.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Entering service seven weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor, USS Hornet was the last of three Yorktown-class aircraft carriers. After training out of Norfolk, Hornet launched two US Army B-25 bombers while at sea in February, 1942. She then headed for the West Coast, and picked up sixteen more, headed West, and flew the Doolittle Raiders off at Japan on 18 April. Hornet headed for home, and was soon engaged in blunting the Japanese onslaught. her torpedo bombers were the first American carrier planes to make contact with the Japanese carriers at Midway, and were slaughtered. However, Hornet's dive bombers were able to sink the heavy cruiser Mikuma and help cripple the Mogami. Hornet next saw action during the Solomons campaign, and from mid-September to late October, Hornet was the only functional American carrier in the area. She was sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz on 27 October, by Japanese destroyers after air attacks had left her crippled.