The USS Hornet may now be docked in the San Francisco Bay as a National Historic Landmark, but the massive air carrier once fought the Pacific battles of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, in addition to taking part in the Apollo program that recovered astronauts returning from the moon. The vessel served many functions, from combat training to leading heavy bombing attacks, and finally as the primary recovery ship for Apollo 11. The carrier underwent air attacks 59 times without damage, earning nine battle stars in the process.
Today visitors can tour the flight deck and ship compartments, as well as the USS Hornet museum. Everything from a NASA exhibit with moon exploration mission items to retired naval aircraft and information about contemporary carriers is on display here. Visitors can get up close and personal with historic helicopters, jets, and propeller aircraft and the flight and hangar decks. There is even a flight simulator for those who want a fully immersive experience.
The USS Hornet is located at Alameda Point in Alameda, an island only 20 minutes from San Francisco by ferry or coach with spectacular views of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline. It is even closer to Oakland, located just on the other side of the Webster tube. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.