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U.S.S. Hornet CV/CVA/CVS-12
w/ Nevada Spirit Seekers


An Essex-class aircraft carrier originally named Kearsarge, the ship was renamed Hornet in honor of the U.S.S. Hornet (CV-8) which was sunk during the Battle of Santa Cruz on October 26, 1942.  Launched on August 30, 1943, and commissioned on November 29, 1943, Hornet soon saw action against the Japanese in the Pacific.  By the end of the war, Hornet and her air crews were credited with destroying 1410 enemy aircraft (668 shot down, 742 destroyed on the ground), 1 carrier, 1 light cruiser, 10 destroyers, and 42 freighters as well scoring four torpedo and three bomb hits on the Japanese battleship Yamato.  Coming under enemy air attack 59 times, she was never hit by anything larger than machine-gun fire.  Hornet was decommissioned on January 15, 1947 in San Francisco.

Recommissioned as an attack carrier and given the designation CVA on September 11, 1953, she would go on to take part in many peacetime operations.  In 1959 she was redesignated CVS-12 and converted to the role of anti-submarine warfare.  Hornet participated in the space race by recovering the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 before being decommissioned for the final time on June 26, 1970.

An aircraft carrier is a very dangerous place during peace or war.  Snapping steel cables decapitated at least three crew members in addition to the many deaths caused by aircraft and equipment accidents.  The Hornet also had the highest suicide rate of any ship in the Navy and some people report immense feelings of dread in the locations where some of these suicides took place.

Our investigation was rather uneventful and full of complications.  The ship was completely silent all night.  Our thermal camera, which was perfectly suited for the massive hangar deck, was malfunctioning and would not start up.  The 3 volunteers went to bed at 11:30 leaving us unable to go anywhere as the security personnel would not even allow us to walk around the hangar deck because we "might bump into the airplanes" somehow with a flashlight-to-people ratio of 3:1.  That left us with 3 hours of touring and investigating for a stay that lasted 16 hours. 

In addition to that, one of our friends had her backpack stolen while all the luggage was being transferred off the ship.  Luggage is transferred on and off the ship by means of a scissor lift near the aft of the ship, while personnel use ramps further forward.  The backpack was later dumped near the lift itself minus a camera and wallet.  We advise anyone staying on the Hornet overnight to carry their equipment and valuables with them while boarding and leaving the ship, no matter what the size of your group.  Our group had around 18 people and we knew 11 of them personally.  Hopefully they have revised their security measures.

Even with all the difficulties we hope to be able to go back someday if we can somehow work out a way to be allowed to investigate all night, or at least for more than 3 hours.
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