New photo gallery from Air Group 11’s deployment

Here are 33 photos from Air Group 11’s deployment on board the USS Hornet, that lasted from October, 1944 to late January 1945.
The photos include scenes from on board the ship, Air Group 11’s operations- especially VF-11’s Hellcats, and the Hornet in various anchor locations. Special highlights show the Christmas 1944 celebrations, and the traditional cakes from the Hornet’s galley celebrating every 1000th successful landing on board the ship.
These photos again are kindly provided by William L. Ballenger.
You can find the photo gallery here:
http://usshornetmuseum.org/PhotoGallery/gallery.php?galleryFolder=1944_Air_Group_11
or by following the Photo Gallery link on the main page and then selecting CV-12 photo collections.

Letters Home…

In the next few weeks, we will be publishing the letters of Tudor Richards, a VB-17 pilot who served on board USS Hornet CV-12 during 1945, in our other blog “Stories of Hornet“. The letters were mostly sent to his parents, and cover the period from his enlistment in 1941 to the end of World War II.

TR in summer uniform

The letters and other documents were originally published on a website created by his nephew, Hamilton Richards, who graciously allowed us to publish these letters on this blog. We will be publishing the letters from his time on USS Hornet, along with photos, and his memoir.

From Hamilton Richards’ website:

“Tudor Richards was born in Groton, Massachusetts, in 1915. He graduated from Groton School, where his father was a teacher, in 1934. At Harvard College he was a member of the Class of 1938 and of the track team. He was a member of the Class of 1940 at the Yale School of Forestry, and was enrolled in a Masters program in forestry at the University of Michigan when the oncoming world war prompted a change of plans.”

He enlisted in the US Navy Reserve in July 1941, and was called to active duty in October, 1941. Following flight training and other assignments, he joined VB-17 and served on board USS Hornet during 1945.

“After the war, he resumed his career as a naturalist. His contributions and achievements are described in the citation for the Lifetime Achievement Environmental Achievement Award bestowed on him in 2007 by the US Environmental Protection Agency:

Tudor Richards’ career as an ardent advocate on behalf of New Hampshire’s environment stretches back to his arrival in the state in 1946, and includes as impressive array of accomplishments throughout the subsequent sixty years. In 1948, he began a long association with New Hampshire Audubon that remains strong to this day. As a newcomer, his leadership skills were not overlooked, and he was elected Vice President for five years before assuming the position of President, which he would keep for another fifteen years. Under his leadership the organization would come to purchase the 6,000 acres of land, which is now known as the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge of the Silvio Conte National Wildlife Refuge. He played a key role in pushing many legislative actions through, such as the New Hampshire Birds of Prey law, the creation of the Loon Preservation Committee, and the passage of the endangered species program, to name a few. Tudor’s love for birds has also shown throughout some of his work. He has updated and helped publish several seminal and historically important ornithological works including the Charles F. Goodhue’s manuscript, Fifty Years among the Birds of New Hampshire. To this day, Tudor has maintained his love and interest for the environment around him, and kept up his keen interest in birds of the White Mountains. He has been instrumental in recording some of the first breeding records of several species in northern New Hampshire. Amid his many accomplishments, Tudor has been an inspiration to countless birders and naturalists in New Hampshire, across New England and throughout the United States.

Tudor Richards died in 2009 at the age of 94.”

Please let us know if you have letters or other documents from veterans of USS Hornet(s) that you would like to share with us.

TA-4J Skyhawk walk around gallery added

54 new photos of the USS Hornet Museum’s TA-4J Skyhawk has been added to the photo gallery. This Skyhawk, BuNo 158137, is still in its original camouflage and markings when it was last serving in the Fleet Adversary role as part of VC-8 Redtails.

You can find the gallery by following the link below

http://www.usshornetmuseum.org/PhotoGallery/gallery.php?galleryFolder=TA-4J_Walkaround

or by following the Photo Gallery section and then selecting “USS Hornet Museum Aircraft Walk Arounds”.

These photos have again been provided by your webmaster.

Dedication ceremony for the USS Hornet Association Memorial Plaque at the National Museum of the United States Navy

The USS Hornet Association recently authorized a new design for the bronze memorial plaque commemorating the the Sailors and Marines, who served on the United States Navy ships named Hornet. The first of these plaques, designed by William L. Ballenger, was donated to the National Museum of The United States Navy at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC.

A dedication ceremony was held at the Museum’s temporary facilities on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014, and members and family of the USS Hornet Association were on hand to celebrate the occasion with the Museum staff. Here are a few photos from the event.

 

 

 

 

 

More photos from Air Group 2’s deployment on CV-12

Here is the second part of our new photo collection with 39 photos from Air Group 2’s deployment on CV-12 from June to September 1944.

You can find this new gallery by following this link:

http://www.usshornetmuseum.org/PhotoGallery/gallery.php?galleryFolder=1944_Late_CVG2

or by following the Photo Gallery link on the main page, USS Hornet CV-12, and then “Air Group 2 June-September 1944”.

These photos and accompanying captions were again kindly provided by William L. Ballenger from his personal collection.

New photo gallery from Air Group 2’s deployment on CV-12

We have 56 new photos from Air Group 2’s deployment on the CV-12 Hornet, with the first part covering the period between March to June 1944. This was also the first combat deployment of the new CV-12 USS Hornet during World War II.

You will see great photos of CVG-2 Hellcats, Helldivers and Avengers with the famous white ball on their tails, along with pictures of life on board the ship, and the air crews assigned to CVG-2 on this deployment.

You can read more about the history of Air Group 2, and this first deployment in Ken Glass’ excellent history here:

http://www.usshornetmuseum.org/PhotoGallery/gallery.php?galleryFolder=1944_History_of_CVG-2

You can find this new gallery by following this link:

http://www.usshornetmuseum.org/PhotoGallery/gallery.php?galleryFolder=1944_CVG2_March_June_1944

or by following the Photo Gallery link on the main page, USS Hornet CV-12, and then “Air Group 2 March-June 1944”.

These photos and accompanying captions were again kindly provided by William L. Ballenger from his personal collection.

 

 

New photo gallery from CV-12’s Christening Ceremony and initial operations in early 1944

We have 54 new photos of CV-12 starting with the Christening ceremony on August 30th, 1943, followed by photos showing the initial operations in the Atlantic Ocean, and then the trip to Pearl Harbor to join the Pacific Fleet.

Some of the highlights include the very first landing and take-off on the Hornet’s deck by Commander William M. Drane’s TBF Avenger on January 1st, 1944, a couple of bad accidents during flight operations, and particularly interesting shots of a Hellcat being catapulted off the hangar deck, which was an interesting feature of early Essex-class carriers.

You can view the photo gallery directly here:

http://www.usshornetmuseum.org/PhotoGallery/gallery.php?galleryFolder=1943_1944_CV-12

or by following the CV-12 and “Christening Ceremony and Early Days” links from the Photo Gallery page:

http://www.usshornetmuseum.org/PhotoGallery/categoryIndex.php?type=albumCategory

These photos were again kindly provided by William L. Ballenger.