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Thread: USS Hornet blog

  1. #721
    Contributor SlaterDoc's Avatar
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    Now that is good news! it looks like you guys have the opportunity to implement one of the ideas that I and some others have been drafting up. The one that applies in this case is where (when possible) the leadership of a ship, be it board of director/trustees or in Hornet's case, the exec director is a retired or former Naval officer that has held rank sufficient enough, that individual is named/appointed/drafted as the ship's CO. In your case your new director has just the requisite background to command a carrier. He would then be wearing his khaki's (w/rank) and command ball cap with the scrambled eggs on board all the time. The idea of which is to add to the authenticity and reality of a museum ship and give a qualified individual some authority to keep others in check. The boards of most museums have the authority to hire and create positions within the organization. It's a good way to attract those folks to continuing to lead in the historical fleet. Not to leave out that with some exceptions, most retired Navy Captains, Commanders and LT Commanders would rather stay close to a ship and remain actively involved. Plus, there is (again with a few exceptions) no one more knowledgeable about what these vessels really need to keep them alive! There would be none of the crap you saw recently as the ship always comes first with her CO! Personally, I believe the executive directors of every Navy museum ship should be a former Naval officer. The non-ship responsibilities, like fund raising can be handled by an assistant. But, the top dog should always be the ship's CO(director) just as in the rest of the ship's history! I am going to have to exempt Slater though! We just were lucky to wind up with probably the best Curator/Director out there. Even if he was only a swabbie in his Navy days!

  2. #722
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    The last two posts have fortified my earlier position (perhaps one of the other topics...?) about how the museum ships for the most part are miss-managed by the wrong people put/selected in charge. We can only hope that from here on out, HORNET takes a positive direction in her future. I work with a former CORAL SEA MM2 who is on our project team (HVAC engineering) and we DO love to talk ships. Breaks the monotony of having to wring our hands over the woes of decisions being made by others who really don't have a clue...all too familiar!

  3. #723
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Well things look a bit more promising now that the previous director Jill Knowland has left. Of course our $800,000 flight deck fund disappeared into a black hole of other uses not remotely related to out leaky flight deck. Couple of very high salaries and self awarded bonuses to name a few.

    The new Director, retired Navy Airdale Captain who also worked in the office of Mayor of San Francisco, looks promising. First staff meeting was a very orderly process in report presentation. There was one episode of a staff member texting away while he was speaking. He noticed and then stopped talking to stare down at her quietly. The room went quiet and when the staff member realized after a minute that things were quiet she looked up at him staring. He said don't hurry, finish what you are doing, and I will then finish what I am talking about. Frankly I don't know why she is still with the ship as she has a major attitude problem. Later a unnamed gender staff member brought up the thought that the POD was too militaristic sounding. The Director calmly reminded the staff member that the Hornet is a warship and a warship museum and the name stays. Previous director would have changed it.

    We must have had some lobbying done by a board member to get a generator donated to us to prevent another 4th of July disaster that cost us $40,000. Will be mounted on the crew's sponson.

  4. #724
    Patron bbvet's Avatar
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    T3F - Thanks for the update; I find your posts quite interesting in the ongoing fight to keep these museums 1) Running and 2) Military. Your comments re. the ideas to change the POD are typical of civilians who shouldn't even be there in the first place. It's a military pub, not a Martha Stewart home décor rag!!!

    Keep these posts coming - and good luck!!!

  5. #725
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Some pictorial updates.

    1) The drill press is finally in place after help from the Coast Guard. At one point Tom says six of the big guys literally picked up the post/arm to stand it up.

    2) Work progresses on the 3' 50 cal gun. Last week Richard and I painted the base quickly after our resident paint chemist volunteer mixed up some high tech water base paint designed to be tough as nails and last 15 years. Still more painting and reassembly.
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  6. #726
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    We have had a radio club on board since the early days. In the beginning it was in Nav Office in the Island on O4 Level which is now my office. That is a small space that is about 8x10. Next they were on the O2 Level in the Captain's Office. Our last Executive Director, decided she wanted that for her office instead of down on 2nd deck where the Admin people were. So the club was moved again to about midships on the O2 Level. This was a compartment that was restored in 2000 as the Ticonderoga Room but then never used for that. Obviously it's location wasn't conducive to visitors getting up there so the idea was nixed. The compartment lay empty until last year when the club got it. This turns out to be a nice large space for all that they have. Newest radios donated by the Air Force up at Travis.
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  7. #727
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Last note it was Pearl Harbor Day on board. A 48 State Flag would have been nice flying on the car.
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  8. #728
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Several things are up beginning this year.

    First post will concern the MARAD ships berthed around Hornet. When I came down this Wednesday, first time in three weeks, the Cape Henry was gone from the other side of Pier 3. I asked Tom and was told it has permanently moved over to piers at Hunter's Point. Why? Because the City of Alameda delayed making needed repairs to the pier on a timely basis. First a water line down for a year and left to pour fresh water into the Bay during the water crisis. Then fixed only to have an another break which took five months to fix. After that a sewer line break which forced the shut down of fresh water to the other piers and ships. There was also the explosion on a transformer under pier 3.

    These ships pay thousands of dollars each month to berth here. In the neighborhood of $25K per month and the City put it into the general fund and spent nothing on basic upkeep. Over the 18 years I have been here that runs over $5 million. So not only the Henry left but all the other ships are leaving to go over to Hunter's Point where the Henry is. That is seven ships in total, I believe, that have left or will leave. The Hornet will be the only ship left at the former Naval Base fairly soon.

  9. #729
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    When down on the ship I am asked to come to a meeting with Tom to talk with the new Director about the Island. Department Head of restoration wants the two of us since both of us have spent the last 18 years up there and know it in and out. Apparently there is going to be a major push to restore the Island before all other work. This means replacing rusted out pieces on the mast like brackets holding lights and eye hooks. New roof over Fwd Gun Control (O7) and the AC Unit (O9). Going inside the metal sheeting over the stack area where it was held on by rivets. Rivets rusted out. braces fell off inside, and now water runs down the inside. We are to now place the brackets back and bolt everything down snug and tight. Tom is to finish up with the #12 lighting to place back on the sides of the Island for lighting up at night. The Island is to be lit up at night along with the perimeter of the ship. After all the rust repair the Island is to be painted with the donation of a couple of hundred gallons of haze gray paint.

    Tom and I are supposed to mark out on line diagrams where the rust damage is to be prepared and to create a plan for starting this work in February or March at the latest. We fortunately have a new fund raiser who is also a scrounger extraordinaire and will get us all the metal we need. So maybe, for the first time, the Island superstructure is going to get the full treatment in restoration from the top of the mast to the flight deck. If done correctly I know it will look great and accurate as that is the only way Tom and I would do it.

  10. #730
    Contributor SlaterDoc's Avatar
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    Looks like having the Captain in charge now that things are happening! And... the right things!

    If DJT would like to really stick it to Cali and SF, they should reactivate Hunter's Point! It certainly can serve a very useful purpose in the rebuilding of the Navy!
    Last edited by SlaterDoc; 07 Jan 18, at 01:46.

  11. #731
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    tbm3fan

    My first post! I am fond of these old warships.

    What resources does the new Director have? How was attendance last year....does it pay the bills or is it mostly on the shoulders of the fund raiser?

  12. #732
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlankDestroyer View Post
    tbm3fan

    My first post! I am fond of these old warships.

    What resources does the new Director have? How was attendance last year....does it pay the bills or is it mostly on the shoulders of the fund raiser?
    What resources the Director has? Well it isn't a wad of cash that is for sure. At the moment it would be goodwill and the ability of our new supply officer (aka Lt. Holden) to generate cash donations and supplies.

    I don't know what attendance was for the year just ending. As for paying the bills that comes from admissions, renting out the hanger/flight deck for events (dances, New Year's, Halloween, Christmas parties and the like), and our live aboard which is very busy in the summer with up to 300 live aboards at a time. I believe they pay $50 each person per night.

  13. #733
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Last note it was Pearl Harbor Day on board. A 48 State Flag would have been nice flying on the car.
    Very nice. The paint on that car is significantly better than any car ever was back then. That's some shiny black.

  14. #734
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    This past Wednesday the new Executive Director actually put on a lunch in honor of the volunteers. That was a first ever and the Admin people did all the serving. Turns out he does have a connection with the Hornet. After he asked all volunteers to stand and then asked those with 5 years to sit, those with 10, those with 15, those with 16, 17, 18 and 19 leaving just a handful of us 20 year guys he asked if we remember the Navy Reserve training aboard the ship in 1999. Turns out he was in command of that Reserve group.

    Back up in the Island I ran into the electrician. Seems he was a little put off that I changed out all the lights in the Island with 5000K LED bulbs vs. his 3000K CFL bulbs. The 5000K are daylight while the 3000K have a warm glow to them. He forcefully points out that the interior colors have a blue tone to them. I said, of course, as that is what haze gray and seafoam green consist of partly. They are not a yellow gray and a yellow green. Tells me he is going to remove all of them and I said when you do give them back to me. Thing is he probably won't get around to trooping all over those seven decks.

    So back to more work on O9 as it was cold outside. Remember that first picture as it was with a warm light. All the others are with the LED bulb in place. In the 4th picture it took 6 hours to scrap all the paint off that panel. The last picture shows sound proofing fabric which had to be scraped of paint. The right side was newer and only had one tight coat while the left was ancient. Couldn't paint anything as I waited too long and the metal had condensation forming by 1730 hours. Yes, the light switch cover wasn't missed as the painted replacement is drying in the Admiral's Sea Cabin.
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  15. #735
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    tbm3fan,

    I agree, the higher wattage LEDs provide a much better lighting in those spaces than the other bulbs. Was the electrician a vet. by chance? Stick to your guns - you seem to have things under control on that issue! Nice paint job, BTW!!

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