Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hauntings: USS Hornet

USS Hornet (California)

The USS Hornet, built in 1943, was an aircraft carrier that served in WWII and was also used as the recovery ship for the Apollo 11 and 12.  More than 300 crewmen lost their lives aboard this ship, some in combat, others maimed onboard by spinning propellers, sucked in by air intakes, killed in the steam room, or blown apart by explosions.  She’s now a museum, permanently docked in Califonia.  The spirits of dead sailors and officers have been seen wandering passages, going about their daily routines.

Hell’s Half Acre.  The steam engine room in the USS Hornet was called Hell's Half Acre by the crew because it was cramped and scorchingly hot inside.  One crewman was working in the area when a pipe burst.  The hot steam burned him to death.  Some have felt his unseen hands jerking or pushing them away from the dangerous machines.

The Kamikaze Ghost.  During WWII, a Japanese kamikaze pilot missed the ship and crashed in the ocean nearby.  After being captured, he was put in a holding cell where he went mad and died.  It has been reported that the wails of the kamikaze pilot have been heard echoing from the depths of the ship.

The Catapult ghosts.  One of the most dangerous areas the ship was the catapult used to launch airplanes off the flight deck.  The heavy wire that catapults the planes has a tendency to break and can whip back at 500 miles per hour, slicing anything along its path.  Through the years, there were many casualties and injuries due to this device, including men cut in half and one who was decapitated.  Witnesses have seen a headless crewman pacing up and down the deck.

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