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Episode Recap: U.S.S. Hornet


TAPS returns to investigate another legendary haunted naval landmark the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in Alameda, CA.

The Hornet, the eighth vessel to carry her name, was commissioned at the height of World War II in 1943. She quickly became one of the most highly decorated ships in the Navy. She destroyed 1,410 Japanese aircraft and destroyed or damaged 1,269,710 tons of enemy shipping. Ten Hornet pilots attained "Ace in a Day" status. Later in its life, the Hornet was given the honor of recovering the Apollo 11 astronauts on their return from the moon.

The USS Hornet's flight deck alone is 894 feet long — basically the size of three football fields. The aircraft carrier was built primarily by women (think Rosie the Riveter) and weighs 41,000 tons. It has a full hospital, three barbershops, a tailor shop, a cobbler shop and seven galleys.

Sailors have walked into aircraft's spinning props, been sucked into their air intakes, and blown off deck by their exhaust. Dropped ordnance has exploded, burning and maiming sailors. Snapping flight arrest cables are known to have decapitated at least three men on the USS Hornet. All told, in her 27 years of active service, more than 300 people lost their lives aboard ship. The majority claimed during combat, others from these horrendous shipboard accidents, still others from suicide. The USS Hornet has the dubious honor for having the highest suicide rate in the Navy.

After being decommissioned, the Hornet was turned into a Bay Area museum. Almost immediately after its arrival in Alameda, staff began reporting strange phenomena. They say they've heard footsteps and voices when no one else was aboard. They've seen unknown sailors and officers in uniform, who disappeared in a flash. Felt fierce winds rushing through enclosed spaces. Noticed radios and other nautical instruments turning on and off on their own.

The USS Hornet is considered the most haunted ship in the Navy, past or present.