Scale Plastic Model Kits
USS Hornet, a 19,800 ton Yorktown class aircraft carrier, was constructed at Newport
News, Virginia. Transferred to the Pacific in March 1942, Hornet was immediately
employed on the Doolittle raid.
Raid on Japan, 18 April 1942
The April 1942 air attack on Japan, launched from the aircraft carrier Hornet
and led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, was the most daring operation
yet undertaken by the United States in the young Pacific War. Though conceived
as a diversion that would also boost American and allied morale, the raid generated
strategic benefits that far outweighed its limited goals and helped to demoralize
The modern, but relatively
well-tested B-25B "Mitchell" medium bomber was selected as the delivery
vehicle and tests showed that it could fly off a carrier with a useful bomb load
and enough fuel to hit Japan and continue on to airfields in China.
In August 1942, Hornet returned to the South Pacific to join in the fight for
Guadalcanal. During much of September and October, she was the only operational
U.S. aircraft carrier available to oppose the Japanese in that area. On 26 October
1942, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, her planes attacked and badly
damaged the Japanese carrier Shokaku. In return, however, Hornet received heavy
bomb and torpedo damage, necessitating her abandonment. She remained afloat until
torpedoed and sunk by Japanese ships early in the morning of 27 October.
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This page was last updated August 29th 2008.