The USS Hornet aircraft carrier is now docked at Alameda in the San Francisco Bay and serves as a museum. This was the eighth US Navy ship to bear that name and was built in 1943 to replace the previous USS Hornet, which had been sunk by the Japanese Navy during the Battle of Santa Cruz, a naval engagement fought during the critical struggle over Guadalcanal. ***** This new ship would go on to become one of the most decorated ships of the US Navy. Although she was under air attack 59 times, she was never seriously damaged. Yet her aircraft destroyed 1,410 Japanese aircraft, her air groups destroyed or damaged 1,269,710 tons of enemy shipping and 72 enemy aircraft were shot down in one day by her aircraft during the famous “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot." ***** She supported nearly every Pacific amphibious landing after March 1944 and her aircraft scored the critical first hits in sinking the super battleship YAMATO. ***** This carrier would go on to serve in the Vietnam War, and recovered astronauts during the first moon missions, Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. ***** She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991 and opened to the public as an aircraft carrier museum in 1998 at her present location in Alameda, California. ***** She was designated a State Historic Landmark in 1999. ***** On Independence Day of 2011, Rob Riutta and his brother Matthew were joined by Matt's friend Guy and myself on a tour of the famous carrier.