I have visited this magnificent aircraft carrier twice. The last time was when I returned to California for some work. It was raining that day but it did not deter from my enthusiasm of visiting this great piece of history.
The USS Hornet is located at the old Alameda Naval Air Station in Alameda Island, California. While the base officially closed in 1997 much of the base looks like it did back then.
At first you may be wondering where the USS Hornet is docked as it is surrounded by other ships. Hint: you can just barely see the bow between the other ships past the gate.
Docked at Pier No. 3 it has a classic aircraft carrier profile of the Essex class carriers that date back to the 1940’s.
The visitor’s entrance is a bit of a climb but there is a handicap access available. Aircraft carriers were not typically built for handicap access so there are limitations to certain parts of the ship.
One of the major features of this ship is the conning tower that stands well above the flight deck. On a good day you can go up and take a tour of the bridge.
The flight deck is now home to aircraft on display. On the day of my visit it was raining pretty good so I did get some close-up pictures but I did not venture out onto the flight deck much this day.
I loved seeing this WWII airplane on the flight deck as you can get a sense of what it was like back in WWII. They did not have jets back in those days.
If you know anything about aircraft carriers then you will be familiar with the various colored jackets that the flight deck crew wear to signify their various duties. The chart picture is in the gallery.
From the flight deck you can look out across the bay and get a view of San Francisco depending on the weather. This picture was taken during a small break in the weather.
A great piece of American history that spans WWII through the space age. In addition to the tour of the ship you can get some wonderful views of San Francisco across the bay.
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