SS Hornet Museum Ship to be Restored with New Marine Coatings

The USS Hornet. Photo courtesy of AkzoNobel.

Coatings provider AkzoNobel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is working with the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum in Alameda, California, to restore the 74-year-old USS Hornet aircraft carrier ship to its original condition from 1943 by donating more than 1,600 gal (6,057 L) of military-grade marine coatings.

The company’s International-branded marine coatings will be used to repaint the entire 873-ft (266.1-m) vessel.

Decommissioned in 1970, the USS Hornet was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1991 and was converted into a museum in 1998.

“Our mission is to honor the legacy of the USS Hornet by connecting the greatest generation of Americans, who built and served aboard this ship, with future generations,” says Mike McCarron, the museum’s executive director. “We host more than 80,000 visitors at the museum each year. We are grateful to AkzoNobel for its donation because it helps us to bring our visitors back in time, by giving them the opportunity to see what the Hornet looked like in its prime.”

The ship has a storied history, even aside from its active role in World War II and the Vietnam War. 

In 1954, the ship helped in a search for survivors of a British Cathay Pacific DC-4 commercial airliner that was shot down off the Chinese island of Hainan by two Chinese fighter jets, with its crew locating several survivors.

In 1961, the ship’s crew helped fight the Hollywood Hills fire, and the vessel’s generators were used to feed electricity into the Southern California power grid.

The ship also played a part in the space race in 1969. On July 24, President Richard Nixon was aboard the Hornet when the vessel recovered Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Mike Collins after their spaceship made the first successful moon landing.

“When reading through the history of the Hornet, I was impressed by how much our pasts are intertwined, and I am proud that we can help the Hornet share its story for years to come,” says John Mangano, North American marketing manager for AkzoNobel’s marine coatings business.

In addition to donating the paint, the company also plans to provide expertise, with Mangano serving as a technical advisor for the project. 

Painting is expected to conclude during the first half of 2018, and the museum will remain open to the public throughout the project.

Source: AkzoNobel, www.akzonobel.com