USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum – Alameda, California - Atlas Obscura

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USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum

After serving in World War II and picking up Apollo astronauts, this aircraft carrier has been turned into a museum overlooking the San Francisco Bay. 


This World War II aircraft carrier has been turned into a museum ship, moored permanently at the southernmost pier of the former Naval Air Station Alameda. Visitors can see how the crew ate, dined, lived, slept, and worked during their time aboard this ship.

The museum is housed in the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, which was part of the U.S. Navy’s offensive force in the Pacific theater during World War II. The ship was decommissioned in 1970 and turned into a museum, which first opened in 1998.

Visitors can explore the flight deck, hangar deck, and first deck on self-guided tours, or take a docent-led tour of the the ship’s navigation and flight deck control areas, as well as down into engineering spaces that hold two of the four ship’s propulsion turbines.

In addition to the historic ship itself, there are vintage military aircraft on display as well as several pieces from NASA’s Apollo missions. The Hornet served as the primary recovery ship for Apollo 11, picking up astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins from their splashdown point in the Pacific Ocean.

Know Before You Go

The flight and hangar decks are wheelchair accessible. Wear comfortable shoes and get ready to climb ladders (the sailors term for stairs) to explore below or climb above the main deck!

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