Permanent Exhibits

///Permanent Exhibits

The Space Race

See our larger artifacts from Hornet’s exciting service during the Space Race of the later 1960s! She served as the recovery ship for not only the famous Apollo 11 and 12 missions–the first and second manned lunar missions–but also recovered a Gemini test capsule. This display includes Gemini Boilerplate MSC-307, Apollo test capsule CM-011, the Mobile Quarantine Facility from Apollo 14, and the helicopter models that made the recoveries possible.


Apollo Splashdown

An exhibition about the space programs that flourished after WWII during America’s Space Race with the USSR. The exhibition culminates with the Apollo 11 and 12 Moon landings which USS Hornet recovered after their splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Artifacts include a test design for the Apollo capsule, artifacts made and distributed to the Hornet crew during the missions, and popular memorabilia of the time.


Hornet Legacy

This exhibition features artifacts related to the legacy of the USS Hornet name. The first Hornet was one of America’s first two ships, a sailing ship commandeered to fight against the British Navy. The name has been carried down through the U.S. Navy ever since and USS Hornet CV-12 was the eighth and final ship to bear the honor. Travel through history and learn about the exploits of all eight ships from the victory at the shores of Tripoli to the famous Doolittle Raid of WWII!


Women in the Military

Women served among the United States military as early as the American Revolution as battlefield nurses and water bearers. Our exhibition highlights the women took on roles once were only for men and served in the US Navy as Yeoman. Our exhibition highlights those women who served as WAVES in the US Navy, as SPARS in the Coast Guard,  and those who served as US Marines.


Sister Ship Row

Come aboard to hear stories from all twenty-three of Hornet’s sister ships of the Essex-class. Only four of these ship remain today, and all serve the public as museums around the country, but these ships operated between WWII to the 1990s and were an essential part of America’s history during both times of war and peace. Learn about the ships and their crew along with a greater narrative of how Essex-class carriers operated.

Carrier Task Force

Task Force

Aircraft carriers like USS Hornet never went to sea alone–they were always part of a greater task force or battle group that would offer greater protection and maintain supplies. This exhibit showcases numerous types of ships that help keep carriers sailing! focuses on the story of This exhibit is currently under construction–stay tuned for more!


Air Group 11

An aircraft carrier is, at its heart, a floating airport dedicated to serving the air groups that fly off her. This exhibit spotlights artifacts and photographs from pilots all over the United States who flew as part of Air Group 11, which flew off Hornet from 1944-1945 in the Pacific during WWII.


The Birth of Naval Aviation

Both the aircraft carrier and aircraft have evolved since the first experiments combining ship and plane. Visit this exhibit to see a large-scale display of USS Pennsylvania and the first aircraft to ever land on the deck of a ship back in 1911. This historical event happened right here in the San Francisco Bay and was the established the foundations of the aircraft carrier type.


Raymond J Vyeda Memorial Room

A memorial to a dedicated USS Hornet CVA-12 crew member, Raymond Vyeda, who took great strides to help save USS Hornet from being scrapped in 1995 and helped to raise the funds to make it into the Museum it is today. He was one of many dedicated veterans and volunteers who preserved and restored the ship and this exhibit focuses on their efforts and activities for the Museum.


Anti-Submarine Warfare

USS Hornet’s final designation in active service was CVS-12, which assigned her as a carrier dedicated to Anti-Submarine Warfare. She was equipped with new equipment and air groups to help her carry out her new role and this exhibition features various types of sonobuoys used during WWII up to the late 1960s-1970s.


Nisei Veterans' Exhibit

Honors the contributions made by Nisei soldiers during WWII. The main focus is on the 20,000-plus American men of Japanese ancestry who served in the 442 Regimental Combat Team in Europe and the 6,000 men who served in the Military Intelligence Service in the Pacific.

Enjoy Everything the Hornet Has to Offer