Introduction to USS Hornet Association Memorial Plaque Program
Almost from the inception of the Hornet Club in 1949 efforts were made to establish memorials in remembrance of our historically famous carriers. Funds for the memorials came from voluntary contributions from the Hornet Club membership.
One major fund request of the membership occurred about the time the Naval Air Museum was established in Pensacola, Florida. Approximately $15,000 was contributed by the Hornet Club membership to the newly established museum. They promised that a memorial plaque honoring “the Hornet” would be placed in an appropriate place of honor. Unfortunately, the end result was a 3 by 5 inch brass plate recognizing our ship.
The second major request for funds from the membership resulted in a memorial plaque placed within the USS Yorktown Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. This plaque is in memory of their departed shipmates killed in action during World War II and the Vietnam War.
In about the year 2000, the idea of permanent memorials to honor the brave and courageous men who served on naval ships named Hornet during times of war and peace came to fruition. Individuals within the Hornet Association membership took responsibility for promoting interest in the design of a cast bronze plaque and identification of a foundry to make the plaques. The Hornet Association membership responded favorably with voluntary donations to support the effort. A Memorial Fund was established as an element of the Association budget structure. In addition, a five dollar fee is assessed from each member for support of the program. The contributed funds are the monetary foundation from which monies are drawn to purchase the bronze plaques. Locations for these Memorial Plaques are made by membership nominations to donate a plaque to an appropriate recipient who will display the plaque in a public manner.
To date Memorial Plaques honoring our great ship Hornet and all shipmates are in place at locations throughout the nation. In some cases the Plaque is a center piece for a more extensive exhibit about the Hornets and their contribution to peace keeping and national defense.