The USS Hornet is a Navy Aircraft Carrier of the Essex Class. Construction started in August 1942. She was originally named USS Kearsarge, but was renamed in honor of the USS Hornet (CV-8), which was sunk in October 1942, becoming the eighth ship to bear the name.
Hornet was commissioned in November 1943, and after three months of training joined the American forces in the Pacific Theater. She played a major part in the Pacific battles of WWII, and also took part in Operation Magic Carpet, returning troops back to the U.S. following the war. She served in the Vietnam War, and played a part in the Apollo program, recovering the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 astronauts as they returned from the Moon.
The carrier was finally decommissioned in 1970. Eventually being designated as both a National and California Historical Landmark. In 1998, she opened to the public as the USS Hornet, Sea, Air, and Space Museum.