After a long modernization program in New York Naval Shipyard, USS Hornet was recommissioned as the attack carrier CVA-12 on September 11th 1953. Following short training and shake-down cruises in the Caribbean, USS Hornet deployed on an 8-month global cruise starting on May 11th 1954 from Norfolk. Port calls included Lisbon, Naples, Colombo, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Yokosuka and finally Pearl Harbor, before USS Hornet returned to Alameda, CA.
The Air Group during this cruise was Air Group 9 commanded by Commander J. G. Hedrick and included:
- VF-91 with F9F-6 Cougars
- VF-93 with F9F-5 Panthers
- VF-94 with F9F-5 Panthers
- VA-95 flying AD-6 Skyraiders
- VC-3 Detachment Mike for night fighting duties flying F2H-2N Banshees
- VC-11 Detachment Mike flying AD-4W Skyraiders
- VC-35 Detachment Mike with AD-4Ds
- VC-61 Detachment Mike flying F2H-2P Banshees for photo reconnaissance
- and HU-1 Detachment Mike flying HUP-1 helicopters
We have uploaded 3 new photo galleries to the website from this 1954 World Cruise. The first gallery is the complete 1954 cruise book. As you can see, compared to the previous cruise book we uploaded from the Pacific War, this is much more comprehensive at 185 pages, as peace conditions probably allowed for more time to prepare the cruise book.
The book starts with the modernization and recommissioning of the ship and then includes photos and stories from all the ports the ship visited during the World Cruise. The last section is a division-by-division list of the ship’s company, as well as the squadrons and detachments of the Air Group.
The second photo gallery is the Hornet Buzz magazine volume 2 number 1 from January/February 1955 and this edition covers the whole world cruise and the ship’s return to San Francisco.
The last gallery is a great collection of color photos from the 1954 cruise donated to the museum. They show air operations with Panthers and Skyraiders, a mid-ocean refueling, personnel transfer with a highline, awesome shots of Hong Kong and Calcutta from 1954. The best shots are from the Neptunus Rex celebration as the ship passed the Equator. The cruise book also includes photos and stories from this event but these color photos are simply unbelievable. You can read more about this great tradition here.
We are hoping to bring you personal stories from this World Cruise in a future post. In the meantime, enjoy the photos and let us know if you have any questions in the comments section.
We will use this blog to announce updates to the website along with background information on the photos and documents we post to the galleries. Please check back often as we will be posting new photos and features to the website almost every week.
You can find our photo galleries by clicking on the Photo Gallery link on the main page and selecting the gallery you want to view in the next page. The gallery page has a film roll view at the bottom showing a preview of the photos that will scroll left and right when you hover with your mouse on the edges. You can also use the left/right arrows on the main photo to navigate the gallery and click on the plus/minus signs to zoom in and out of the photos. You can use the links on the top of the page to navigate around the website.
Photo collections in this update
Our first photo gallery is the cruise book from USS Hornet CV-12’s World War II service covering the period from her launch to the end of the war and her return home. Cruise books were created by the ship’s crew, much like a high school yearbook, and covers the events and crew life during a single deployment and almost all US aircraft carriers published a cruise book for each of their deployments.
The second photo gallery is the Air Group Seventeen’s Review covering 1944-1945, when, after an intense training period in California and the Pacific Ocean, they deployed on USS Hornet as part of the first carrier-borne attacks against Tokyo by Task Force 58. Air Group 17 included bomber squadron VB-17, fighter squadron VF-17 and torpedo squadron VT-17. The review covers photos from stateside training as well as various operations and life on the islands and the ship.
More about the photos
The documents, photos and slides we will share on this website have all been scanned from original sources that came in as donations to the Museum Department. Due to space and internet traffic considerations, we are presenting these photos at a much lower quality with visible and invisible watermarks (around 1400×1280 and then fitted to the browser screen) than the original 600 dpi and no-compression scans. However, you can right-click and save these photos on your machine and you will be able to see more detail. We are also working on other options to bring the original scans of these photos to the public either as photo CDs or in e-book/PDF formats.
In a few days, we will post our photo collections from the 1954 cruise with lots of Panthers and Skyraiders. Here is a sneak peek: