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City of Alameda Forgives Portion of USS Hornet Back Rent

USS Hornet Museum pays off back rent. (Google Street View)

USS Hornet Museum pays off back rent. (Google Street View)

The City of Alameda has accepted a check for $215,385 from The Hornet Foundation to pay off some $500,000 in back rent due to keep the USS Hornet berthed at Alameda Point.

A statement released by the City of Alameda states that when the city entered a lease with the foundation five years ago, it offered to write off the balance of the past due rent at that time of $555,000 if the foundation could pay half.

With the receipt of this latest check, the City of Alameda has wiped the deck clean for the Hornet, saying the foundation has met the challenge.

In recent months, a local public relations firm has been actively promoting events at the WWII era aircraft carrier to drive revenue.

Randall Ramian, CEO of the Hornet Foundation said that despite clearing the back rent, the museum still faces significant challenges.

Challenges are nothing new for the Hornet. An Essex class carrier, the boat was initially laid down in August of 1942 as the USS Kearsarge.

However, in October of 1942, during the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands in the Pacific theater, a previous carrier, CV-8, also named USS Hornet, and of Battle of Midway and Doolittle-raid fame, was damaged and sunk.

Kearsarge was subsequently renamed USS Hornet (CV-12) in honor of the earlier Hornet, and was commissioned in November, 1943.

The younger Hornet went on to earn nine battle stars in WWII and participated in aerial raids on Tokyo and the assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa; aircraft from the Hornet also participated in the attacks that sank the massive Japanese battleship Yamato.

Hornet also participated in the space race, recovering astronauts from Apollo 11, the first manned mission landing on the moon.

The ship was decomissioned in 1970 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 1989, then opened as a museum in Alameda in 1998.

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