Wreck of World War 2 Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) Discovered

Almost a week after RV Petrel announced they had discovered the first Japanese battleship to be sunk during World War II, Battleship Hiei, the research vessel discovered the wreckage of USN aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8).

The USS Hornet (CV-8) was sunk during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on the 27th of October, 1942, 140 of her crew went down with her. She was discovered on January 20, 2019 and was positivily identified, after footage from the wreck showed the Hornet’s naval designation: CV-8. The wreck was located at a depth of more than 17,000 feet (5,200 m) off the Solomon Islands.

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The length of the Hornet as she sits now is 205 meters measured on the flight deck. There is approximately 45 meters of the stern missing and is in the debris field 1 nautical mile away. You can also see the initial impact crater as Hornet hit the bottom and slid 100 meters.”, according to RV Petrel.

A Japanese Type 99 Aichi D3A1 dive bomber (Allied codename "Val") trails smoke as it dives toward the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), during the morning of 26 October 1942. This plane struck the ship's stack and then her flight deck. A Type 97 Nakajima B5N2 torpedo plane ("Kate") is flying over Hornet after dropping its torpedo, and another "Val" is off her bow
A Japanese Type 99 Aichi D3A1 dive bomber (Allied codename “Val”) trails smoke as it dives toward the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), during the morning of 26 October 1942. This plane struck the ship’s stack and then her flight deck. A Type 97 Nakajima B5N2 torpedo plane (“Kate”) is flying over Hornet after dropping its torpedo, and another “Val” is off her bow

The Hornet is best known for for the Doolittle Raid, when on April 18, 1942, sixteen B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched without fighter escort from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) deep in the Western Pacific Ocean.

During the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands where she was irreparably damaged by enemy torpedo and dive bombers on October 26, 1942. Faced with an approaching Japanese surface force, the Hornet was abandoned and later torpedoed and sunk by approaching Japanese destroyers around 0100 hours on 27th of October, 1942. 140 sailors when down with her. Hornet was the last US fleet carrier to be sunk by enemy fire.

More photographs from the wreckage. Captions and photographs courtesy of Navigea Ltd. R/V Petrel:

This is the hangar deck on the main part of the USS Hornet on the starboard side. You can see Hornet is nearly buried up to the Hangar Deck.
This is the hangar deck on the main part of the ship on the starboard side. You can see Hornet is nearly buried up to the Hangar Deck.
Another picture with possibe damage from a torpedo or impacting the seafloor. That is the hangar deck visible towards the top of the photo.
Another picture with possibe damage from a torpedo or impacting the seafloor. That is the hangar deck visible towards the top of the photo.
The hull number, 8, visible on the port bow
The hull number, 8, visible on the port bow.
On Northamptons last attempt at towing the Hornet they attached a cable to the port anchor chain visible here leading forward. The starboard anchor is visible in the lower left of the photo.
On Northamptons last attempt at towing the Hornet they attached a cable to the port anchor chain visible here leading forward. The starboard anchor is visible in the lower left of the photo.
The F4F Wildcat from the debris field and shown in the sonar mosaic.
The F4F Wildcat from the debris field and shown in the sonar mosaic.
A 20mm Oerlikon AA gun on the port quarter. This part of the ship is 1 nautical mile from the main part of the wreck.
A 20mm Oerlikon AA gun on the port quarter. This part of the ship is 1 nautical mile from the main part of the wreck.
The forward air defense station.
The forward air defense station.
The forward air defense station.
The forward air defense station.
This is the starboard forward 5" gun mount p
This is the starboard forward 5″ gun mount.
An Anti-Aircraft projectile still in the fuse setter for the starboard forward gun in the previous photo.
An Anti-Aircraft projectile still in the fuse setter for the starboard forward gun in the previous photo.
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1 thought on “Wreck of World War 2 Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) Discovered”

  1. Margaret C Nicosia

    Paul Allen and Vulcan have been the backers of the Petral and its journey of discovering our US History If you have not watched the 3 segments of the USS Indianapolis story, you are missing out on the stories of other great American Heroes

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