Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mission Accepted!

~*~

Our mission: 
USS Hornet CV-12

One of the 24 legendary Essex-class aircraft carriers built
during and after World War II and she is one of the most
decorated ships of the US Navy, having received the Presidential Unit Citation and nine Battle Stars.  However, she is probably best remembered as being selected by the Navy as the prime recovery ship for Apollo 11, American's first moon landing mission.  

On July 24, 1969, President Richard Nixon and a number of other dignitaries were present while the USS Hornet CV-12 recovered astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and their spacecraft Columbia. Armstrong and Aldrin were the first two humans to walk on the Moon.
Today she is a national monument and museum docked
in the San Francisco bay area!

~*~
Mission Accepted!  
Permission to come aboard Sir?

Upon boarding the ship, we got right down to business and met up with our amazing docents where we made a memory center stage.

We began our day on the Hanger Deck where 
several aircraft are on display...


This picture above is my favorite because it captures my boys expression of amazement! 






 Next was the Apollo 11 exhibit.  






I really enjoyed this because there was so much preservation done in the remaining artifacts that tell the history of the lesser known 'Apollo 1' and its 3 astronauts who got their heavenly promotions early in their careers because of a cabin fire during a pre-launch exercise at Cape Canaveral in 1967.


Then we began to explore several of the different decks that are open to the public.  Here is a highlight from the fourth deck... 
the Engine Room! 



 
Sailors slept near their stations, hence the engine room here.
In this photo, you'll see that the pillows and blankets are opposite from each bed below to ensure that there aren't any injuries when legs are swung over.




Next was the Mess area for those of general rank.



We joked about trying to have a tea party on these trays! ha

 

The salad bar was introduced in the 1970's.

 




Now here's where I can make a LOT of scones!
The Bread and Pastry area had the biggest
kitchen-aide type mixer I'd ever seen!



These pictures don't do these objects justice in relating to their
size because when you hold them, they are HUGE!





This ship was unusual in that it had a Freezer,
so ice cream was a rare and special treat!




Next stop was the BRIGG!






It was all about the written word in those days and here is it's method.... a small printing press.

 

Here is a little sailor humor...
(these are actually fuel tanks)




This area is known as "Boys Town".
If you finished college prior to your enlistment, you enter rank as a Junior Officer.




Notice how much thicker the mattress's are when your rank increases.


Next area was the Officer's Staterooms.  Again, the beds are nicer and you don't have to share as much and you get a few upgrades like a bathroom in your room.






This shelving was used as the Officer's store where they could buy  personal items.  My favorite is the bottles of
Skrip Liquid Ink!



A very nice Mess area for the higher rank.


Newly added to the museum this year was a painstaking labor of love...  a model exhibit that recreates the historic event in San Francisco Bay involving the USS Pennsylvania and Curtiss airplane flown by Eugene Ely... Man’s first aircraft landing and takeoff from a ship! I think this was located in the Wardroom Lounge.



Ropes tied to 50 lb sandbags were used to stop the airplane upon landing

 
Here was the converted Barber shop that is currently being used to display different memorabilia from soldiers from WW2.




Okay this may sound really strange but this area was actually my absolute favorite part of the ship because it was here that it really hit me that these ships are like floating cities.

It is the Sick Bay!  Dentist and Hospital in one!










How would you like to get some dentures from that?! ha ha








Prescriptions filled here at the Pharmacy.


Because this was a aircraft ship, it also had a hearing booth to test pilots and those who worked directly with the aircraft.




Oddly enough, next door to Sick Bay was the Torpedo Room!




This strange looking box below is actually one of the last remaining places on the ship where you could steer it if all controls were taken out above.  It looks toooo small when you see how massive the ship is.  I think you'd need about 6 of your biggest friends to help crank the knobs.




Here I am looking out the window down at the runway in the Navigation Bridge located on The Island.

Those numbers on the glass (20, 30) give the crew down below on the runway an idea of the wind speeds each day.  Today it was all the way over at 40.... a very bad hair day!



Here was another fun area, the Chart Room!
This gets the closet engineer geek in me all excited!

Sweeeeeet, they even have coffee for me!























Here my Boy is doing his own version / reenactment of 
'I'm King of the World'


 
This day has been a great memory for my family!  My family appreciate the men and women who volunteer their free time to preserve American history so that we can experience something special like we did today.

 A special thank you to Ron and Jenifer...
check your doorstep soon as a little something special is coming to you too!

* On a side note, you definitely have to be in good shape to spend the day here because you are on your feet the entire time walking and climbing stairs like these.... we stayed nearly 6 hours and still didn't see everything or spend the time I wanted to for reading all the information and photographs within each area.  I plan to go back again without the kids to do that because they were tired after 4 hours on their feet and then went on strike at the 6th hour.


~*~

5 Cha Cha Bloggers left a comment:

Linda July 13, 2011 at 5:28 AM  

What a cool way to spend the day! My husband & I visted the Kitty Hawk many, many years ago. Thanks for the all pics! Glad you all had a fun time. Blessings

Angela McRae July 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM  

What a GREAT family fun day, and how awesome that you got to see so much history! Thanks for sharing all these photos too, because I know it must have taken a while to do this. Loved seeing your family having such a great time together!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? July 18, 2011 at 7:40 AM  

Wow, Janeen! Thank you for taking me on this virtual tour! It truly was an experience through visiting this post! I was there with you and your family! And they sure are blessed to have you! :))

R. Quilter July 18, 2011 at 3:46 PM  

I love going on the Hornet!

The Brown Recluse July 23, 2011 at 12:13 PM  

I love the pic of you and your man! So...if your hubby and kids are the presidential family, that means you'll be the Prez? You got my vote!
I tried to visit a battleship in NC several years ago. But I kinda freaked going into the second level, and was like...screaming..."outta my way!! I'm coming back up!!!" Well, in my mind I was screaming, to the people in my way it was "Please, PLEASE excuse me! PLEASE..." Won't try that again. Loved that I was able to take your virtual tour.