USS Hornet CV-8
Message Board

Mar. 1, 2011

On April 16, 2011, the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, CA will celebrate the 69th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. Since 2011 is the Centennial of Naval Aviation year, we will be featuring the Navy personnel who played a key role in the success of this daring mission. These include Francis S. Low, who had the original idea of  launching Army bombers from a Navy aircraft carrier to attack Japan; Donald B. Duncan, who performed the initial feasibility study and was the Navy's coordinator for the project (ie, Lt. Col. Doolittle's counterpart); Henry L. Miller who instructed the USAAF pilots in how to make carrier launches; and Hornet's own Intelligence Officer, Stephen Jurika, who provided much of the targeting and plotting information to maximize the impact of the few bombs that were dropped (his Order of the Rising Sun medal was one of those wired to a 500lb bomb on April 17 for special delivery on Tokyo the next day). Anyone who has photographs, documents or artifacts pertaining to this "cruise" that might be of value to this commemoration event are asked to contact ACHF Trustee Bob Fish at

Bob Fish

Feb. 24, 2011

I am trying to find out when my brother served on the Hornet CV-8 and what battles took place during his service. His name was Gerald R. Williams and he was an Aviation Machinist's Mate. He enlisted before Pearl Harbor bombing and once told me he served on the Hornet and described some action around Guadalcanal. That's all I know. Any info appreciated.

Carl Williams

Feb. 8, 2011

The 69th Anniversary Reunion of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders will be held April 14-17, 2011 in Lincoln/Ashland, NE. All five surviving Doolittle Raiders are slated to attend. We would be honored to have any USS Hornet crew members, or their families, attend.  For further information, please visit .  The brave crew of the USS Hornet played a pivotal role in this important mission.  We hope this invitation reaches the surviving crew members and their families.

Bob Joyce
Co-Chairman Doolittle Raiders 69th Anniversary Reunion


Feb. 6, 2011

I am trying to find any information I can about my father's half-brother Leonard Calfee. I know that he was originally from West Virginia, spent many years in the Navy, and finally retired in California. I'm fairly sure he was on the Hornet (CV-8) when it was sunk. He was a fleet champion boxer. (lightweight?) Anyone with any info at all, please post.

Thank you in advance,
Bill Pilkenton
Lyons, New York
(You have my permission to post my email.

Oct. 4, 2010

I cannot thank you enough for your website on the USS Hornet. I have been trying to find out some information about my Uncle. All I knew was that he had died in WW II possibly aboard either the Hornet or the Wasp. I found his name on the list of causalities aboard the Hornet at the Battle of Santa Cruz. If there is anyway I can get anymore info would you please email me back. He was my father's youngest brother and my Dad served in Alaska during WWII. My uncles name was Virgil E. Daniel. My fathers name was John Thomas Daniel. They were from Georgia.

Trudy Bolt

Sept. 24, 2010

Just looked at the material on Hornet. This is an amazing and powerful collection; thanks for putting it all on the net.

David Luck

Aug 12, 2010

My name is Cheryl Haggard and I am the proud daughter of Keith Raymond Hanson, Electrician's Mate on the USS Hornet, CV 8. It is with great sadness that I share the passing of my father. He was 87 years of age and died August 3, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona. He is survived by two sons and one daughter, 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. 

Some of the most cherished times we spent with him were the times he would tell us his war stories. He'd always say “I was just an electrician”.  In recent years he began to recollect his time on the Hornet when it was sunk at the Battle of the Santa Cruz. He would tell of the stories in the water, waiting to be rescued. He recalled paddling on a raft with several crew men toward DD-413. A lot of the crew paddling didn't say a word but switched course because of their superstition for the #13. They paddled over to the USS Morris instead. 

We were fortunate to attend one of his Reunions for the Lexington. At the dinner one of his former crew members from the Hornet told us the story of my dad saving his life. The gentleman said his foot had been tangled in a rope on his way down to the water when the crew was ordered to abandon ship and while so many others scurried down it was my dad that helped him out of the rope, saving his life. It meant so much to him he named his first born son, Keith, after my father.

I look back and realize he was only 19 years old during that battle. How brave you all were to fight for our country at such a young age. Our family would like to express how extremely thankful we are for your patriotism. Without you, where would we be? I would love to hear from any of his former crew mates. Thank you for your time.

Cheryl (Hanson) Haggard

Keith R. Hanson seen during World War II.
Keith R. Hanson seen in 1995.

May 23, 2010

Homer Lee Barker, USN 337-28-53, whom I knew, was an enlisted crew member of the USS Hornet. He was a ship's barber and was featured in at least one public relations photo released by the USN to the media.  However, he was listed as one of the survivors of the USS Barton (DD-599) which was sunk November 13, 1942.  Was he transferred to the Barton after the Hornet was sunk on October 26, 1942? Thank you for any information you might provide. Homer Lee Barker survived the war but was killed in an automobile crash on July 4, 1949.

J. Dale West
Longview, Texas

Apr. 12, 2010

My name is James Johnson I went to join the Navy in Wichita Falls, Texas on May 3rd 1942. I couldn't meet the weight for my age (17). A Chief gave me a dollar and told me to go to the store near by and buy all the bananas I could and eat them and come back. I made the weight at noon was put on a special train headed for the west coast at 6PM and three days later to San Diego Calif. Naval Training station on a Saturday Morning.

A guy came out to the train and said all Marines to my right and sailors to my left. We were taken to a big  building where they had a bunch of crazy guys with hair clippers and cut off all our hair. We then went into another building and when we went in they lined us up by size. I was last as I was small 128 Lbs and 4-1/2 feet tall. Mean green fighting machine. One of them said that looks like pokey bait. Never did find out what the heck that was.

As you walked in front of the guys they would give you Navy uniforms, shoes and funny hats. The only thing that fit me was the shoes. Then they marched us to a field where we were assigned to some guys called Chiefs. They were going to make sailors out of us. I put all my gear into a bag and we walked off to our houses. My chief and I got along  good as were were the same height. We put out names on out clothes and was finally going to chow.

I was not to sure what "Chow" was but the other guys were getting excited. I finally got wise to the Navy and liked it except we only ate bread at dinner and supper, not for breakfast. They kept us pretty busy for four weeks and one morning they gave us a hammock, bag for our clothes, a blanket and pillow. I had a hard time getting it rolled up and tied up. Then they told us to pick them up and put them on our shoulder and ge in line. Heck I could barley drag it much less put it on my shoulder. They finally got onto bus and took us to a pier where this ship was.

They marched us up and took dozen into the durn ship with out any windows and some funny beds, six beds tied onto pole. Welcome home guys. We all ask where we were going. The Chief said you will know when you get there. About four weeks were were told we were going to Pearl Harbor. Finally this is where I was assigned to the USS HORNET (CV-8) 3rd Division gun #5 - sightsetter. I was a real salty sailor.

I went up on the hanger deck and tried to get a bucket of prop wash. I was sent up to the bow where the chains holding the anchors were with a hammer and marlin spike. If the anchor started to slip I was to insert the marline spike into the chain and SAVE the anchor. The best. I was sent up to the place up on the flight deck where people worked and some lived there. It seem that the bos'n Chair was up there and I should get it. Well - this Marine told me I wasn't going to get it and were were talking a little loud when this guy came out and asked the Marine what the hell is going on. He told him I was want to get some type of chair. He asked me "Sailor is your name Johnson?" I said "yes sir". He said "go tell your chief that the admiral desires his presence".

The Chief wasn't to happy about that. I was introduced to the Navy Blue Jacket Manual. Also I was assigned to a fellow by the name of Norman Branyan. He became my friend and brought me into the Navy. We were both on Gun #5 pulled liberty together and were the last people to leave the Hornet via the fan tail on a rope. I was in the water when a Jap dropped a bomb that landed in the water knocking me unconscious. The Destroyer Barton came along side to pick up survivors, one of their officers came down the rope ladder and hauled me up. They put me into sick bay.

When they rushed back to New Caledonia they forgot that I was in sick bay, so nine hours after leaving New Caledonia the Chief Medic told the captain I was aboard. The captain came down and asked me how I felt and I said a little sore but ok. He ask me if I knew any thing about a 20mm gun. I had shot one when we went to the beach to train on the 5 inch and the Marines shot the 20mm. I ask them if I could try and they let me. I told him I could shoot it but couldn't load it as the ammo holder was to heavy for me to pick up, I was on here when we met a Jap task force the night of Nov. 13, 1942.

The 20mm Gun was not originally on that space but was added later on the port side. They had welded only the four corners so when the Barton broke in two it threw me, my loader and gun away from the ship. We were later picked up and taken to New Caledonia where I saw a sign saying Hornet so I told the officer that was with me when we were picked up that I would report to them and explain me being on the Barton. The first guy that saw me was my friend Norman Branyan. Fred your father was the greatest and as a Hornet survivor - you have served us well. God Bless you and the fantastic work you and your friend did for this website.

James Johnson

(Note: It is my sad duty to report that James passed away Jan. 4, 2018. See message 43.)
Michael W. Pocock

Jan. 20, 2010

I am a former crew member of the USS Hornet CVS-12, and am now a member of the board of trustees of the Hornet Museum. I am also a member of the USS Hornet Association and Liaison between the two organizations. The Board of Trustees and the Museum's CEO have agreed that what is missing from the museum is a comprehensive display of items from USS Hornet CV-8, with specific reference to the Doolittle raid from a Navy point of view.

I have contacted the Association, and my entire mailing list of former crew members in an effort to get the word out to any remaining USS Hornet CV-8 crew members and or their families to see if they would be interested in supporting such a display with items and articles pertaining to both Doolittle and CV-8 either as a loan to the museum, or a donation. I found your web site this morning, and would very much appreciate this note be posted on the CV-8 page. Thanks for your great site, and thanks for your help.

Rolf Sabye
Liaison USS Hornet Museum
USS Hornet Association

Jan. 8, 2010

I was told a story of a seaman who played guitar on the Hornet who found out his wife didn't love him anymore and subsequently broke his guitar into pieces and threw it overboard. If anyone can validate this story I'd appreciate it.

Thank you,
Candido Bretto

Nov. 22, 2009

My father was Aviation Electrician Chief  Leroy E. Butts Jr. He was on the Hornet when it was first commissioned and remained on it until it was sunk. He was one that was picked up by destroyers running with it. He and another chief had a small shop they worked out of and they alternated working. Dad had filled in for the" other chief" some day before that fateful day and the other chief decided to "pay him back" and worked Dad's shift that morning. When one of the explosions went thru the hanger deck, it took out Dad's work partner.

Another wonderful story took place in Cape Canaveral, Florida some time in 1976 while Mom & Dad were living there. Dad was still a member of the Fleet Reserve and attended many of their functions. It was announced that then Major Jimmy Doolittle & his wife were being honored at an “Invitation only” dinner & dance at the large officer's club there. Dad wasn't on “the list”, so he got out his “Card” that all sailors get when they cross the International Date Line, laminated it, put on his tux & Mom put on one of her Eastern Star dresses, & they drove to the club.

There were young sailors in full dress uniform "guarding" the entrance. Dad could see the crowd getting ready to be seated and saw Doolittle at the front table. Along with several high ranking officers and Florence Henderson and her husband just about to sit down. Dad gave the young sailor attending the invitees his “Dragon” card and told him to take it to Doolittle. The sailor took one look at it, saluted my Dad, and excused himself. He proceeded all the way around the crowd to the table where Doolittle had already sat down. The sailor simply held the card over Doolittle's shoulder for him to see and Doolittle studied it, and told the young sailor to bring Dad and Mom up to his table. While he returned and escorted my Mom first followed close behind by my Dad, Doolittle had Florence Henderson and husband move down several places and welcomed my folks to sit alongside him. His first words to my Dad were, “I know I can't possibly remember you, but I know you were there” “Thank you Sir”.  Dad was introduced to the group as one of the shipmates on that historic raid.

That card and his Chrysler watch were the only things he managed to get off the ship, (along with a couple other wallet items). After Santa Cruz, he served 3 years on the Saratoga. I feel honored to have had him for my Dad & hope this story can add to your book.

Jim Butts
Craig, Colorado

Nov. 17, 2009

It is my sad duty to report the passing of Clarence Moore "Bob" Logsdon, crewman on Hornet from start to finish. Clarence passed away on Nov. 16, 2009.

(read a Tribute to a former crewman)

Oct. 26, 2009

I have just discovered your GREAT website re the USS Hornet (CV-8) - it is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!

My father, James E. "Jack" Byrd, Jr. was a MM2 aboard the USS Hornet (CV8) during the Battle of Santa Cruz (see link below).

His service records indicate that he claimed that his arm was injured when a Japanese plane crashed into the Hornet.  Do you know if there is anyway I might be able to confirm this and also to determine exactly where he might have been stationed (assume fire control?) during battle stations at that time? 

I remember when I was a kid growing up in Phoenix, AZ seeing my dad's wrist watch that he had worn when he hit the water when the Hornet was sunk during the Battle of Santa Cruz. The sea water had rusted shut the mechanism, thus freezing the exact time he was in the water, waiting to be picked up by the USS Morris. 

As best I can figure it, two articles from his hometown paper in San Marcos, TX were written sometime after the Hornet was sunk, probably during Christmas of 1942? His second ship was the USS Mobile, which he served on for the rest of the war.

Thanks once again for your research and education efforts in keeping the Pacific War alive for future generations of Americans!!

Kenneth E. Byrd, Ph.D.

Sept. 5, 2009

I continue to see models of the Hornet that suck for accuracy on the net. Could you put something on your site to the effect anyone who wants to build a model is free to contact me and I will make sure they have a collection of photos and sites for you tube footage to enable them to build a near perfect model of the ship? Please include my email address.

Fred Branyan

Apr. 17, 2009

I am stationed at Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division. We are in possession of the bell that is mentioned below (message 7), and would like to have history on it, perhaps even folklore, and how it came to Naval Ammunition Depot Lualualei. (It is now part of Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division Det Pearl Harbor.)

It is to be part of a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of Naval Ammunition Depot Lualualei, and the bell will once again be displayed. Our CO, CAPT Bodenstedt, would be very interested to have more information or photos. The ceremony is very soon, set for May 1, 2009.

I greatly appreciate your time and assistance,
CDR Tera Salo, USN

Mar. 31, 2009

I edited The Two Thousand Yard Stare: Tom Lea's World War II, which was published last October by the Texas A&M University Press. Tom Lea, a combat artist for LIFE magazine, spent 66 days on the USS Hornet (CV-8), mostly off the Solomons, and left her on 21 October, just five days before she was hit and went down during the Battle of Santa Cruz. He learned of her loss days later at Pearl Harbor when he was showing Admiral Nimitz some of his preliminary sketches. When he showed the admiral his favorite one of the Hornet, Nimitz told him: "You lost your ship last night." It was the first he had heard that the ship was gone.

The crew, air group, and the ship meant a great deal to him; he wrote a lengthy account of his time on board and his paintings reflect his feelings. The book devotes more than 45 pages to his time on the Hornet (he went aboard at Pearl Harbor on 16 August 1942 and was high-lined over to the USS Guadalupe (AO-32) on 21 October) and contains some 40 sketches, photographs, and finished paintings of the ship's company and the air group. The book also contains a great story about a lucky coin given him by LCdr. Oscar Dodson, the ship's Communications Officer. We republished the story with some additional sidebars in the September 2008 issue of the U.S. Naval institute's Proceedings magazine.          

I met Tom Lea late in his life when I interviewed him in 1994 in El Paso and wrote a profile for the U.S. Naval institute's Naval History magazine. Because of this, and my background (USMC aviator), Texas A&M in early 2006 asked me to put the book together using Tom's paintings, diaries, letters, photographs, etc. Would very much like to hear from any one who was on board the first Hornet, especially if they remember Tom Lea (or LIFE writer John Hersey, who was also on board with Tom). Am also interested in learning more about Lt. John Quackenbush, Supply Dept., who was lost when the Val crashed into the Signal Bridge during the battle. He and Tom Lea were good friends on the ship.    

The Hornet is special to me, also--and not just because of Tom: I have four traps on her namesake . . . CV-12 . . . off Long Beach, California, in 1964 in a USMC A-4E Skyhawk.   

Many thanks, and . . . Semper Fi,
Mac Greeley

Mar. 15, 2009

Just as a matter of interest about the USS Hornet. I served at the Marine Barracks at Lualualei, Oahu, Hawaii during during 1971 and 1972. The base was called Naval Ammunition Depot Lualualei at the time but I believe the base name as changed since then. The ship's bell of the USS Hornet (1941) was at the main gate guardshack during that time. I always felt a certain pride and sense of history anytime I walked past it.

Greg Gillock

Feb. 7, 2009

My name is Jane Mika and I am the daughter of Harold McClung who served on the Hornet throughout its proud
history. He is still alive and quite well, although his memory fails him at times. He was a chief machinist mate,
and was on active duty for 20 years. He carries in his wallet a photo of a fellow sailor named Harold Couch who
served with him on the Hornet.

According to my Dad, Harold Couch saved his life after dragging him to safety during the bombing which
eventually led to the sinking of the Hornet. He has often wondered what may have happened to Harold Couch.
Does anyone have any information about Harold Couch? Or, perhaps, does anyone know who I could contact to
find out?

I am sure my Dad would love to hear from any shipmates, or families of shipmates.

Love to you all,
Jane Mika

Reply 1
Feb. 12, 2011

My uncle Raymond Samuel Pugh served on the Hornet CV-8 with your father Harold McClung. I have listened for years of the stories he has told of his experiences, with awe. Uncle ‘Sam', as he is known to me, remembers many of the people that he served with. He remembers the names of the two mates that at the time the order was given to abandon ship, decided that they had to get some things from their lockers. They were Overstreet and Gwinn and they are listed as casualties at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.

He also remembers the names of the men he served with on the island of Tulagi and he wanted me to try and see if I could find any information on his mates. They were named Swatta, Johnson and Harold McClung. My uncle Sam is losing his sight and has lost much of his hearing from the concussion of the bombs, but has never forgot the brave men he served with and he would be over-joyed to get any information on any of these men.

Thank you,
Bryan Scott

Nov. 12, 2008

It is with sadness that I share with you the passing of my Uncle, Louis John Muery, Jr., USN, He
was 89. He died Nov. 11, 2008 on Veteran's Day. He is to be buried in Arlington National
Cemetery with full military honors. You will find on this website the story of his heroic 20+ days
at sea when his plan crashed and he was recovered. He survived and led a wonderful life until
Alzheimer's robbed him of what he knew and remembered. This will be a special Veteran's Day
that I will not soon forget. God bless you Louis John Muery, Jr.
(Related articles)

Carol Diane Muery
Huntsville, Alabama

Aug. 4, 2008

My name is Edward Johnson, and I am writing in reference to my great uncle, Dr. John Mitchell Johnson, Jr.  He was aboard the USS Hornet CV-8, and lost his life during The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. I have been to the
websites, and I am amazed at the information available, especially the numerous photos of the battle.

I know very little about my uncle, except for what was written in the local newspapers about him after his death. I am looking for anyone who can provide any insight, or perhaps has a story to share. Any help would be appreciated.

Edward Johnson
Ft. Worth, Texas

Jan. 26, 2008

Mustin-Hornet Reunion: The reunion will be at the Holiday Inn Sunspree in Virginia Beach on 4/17-20/08. Tours will include the Norfolk Navy base, Williamsburg, nautical history museum in Newport News etc. Please have anyone interested contact me at this address. (

Fred Branyan

Jan. 23, 2008

Hello. My name is Carol D. Muery. I came across this website while doing research on my uncle’s military service. On the “Roll of Honor” for the USS Hornet (CV-8) under May 21, 1942 you list a Muery, J. T. as deceased. You list him as an ensign (VB-8). You note that his plane (8-B-9) crashed on a recon mission.

This is my uncle and he is still alive. Please remove his name from your list of deceased veterans. His plane did go down and he was recovered after surviving the 20+ day ordeal. His plane mate, Walter Richter did die.

Carol D. Muery
Huntsville, Alabama

November 11, 2006

My cousin, Bowman McNulty was aboard the Hornet when she was sunk at the battle of Santa Cruz. I believe he was an electricians mate at the time. He survived the sinking and lived until 1968 when he took his own life from struggles he never got over from his wartime experiences. If there is anyone that served with him I would love to hear from you.

Pastor Danny Wilson

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