USS Hornet Museum Veteran’s Day events—premier of film ‘Eleven,’ reception
ALAMEDA, California — The USS Hornet Museum will host a special Veteran’s Day Ceremony on Tuesday, November 11 with two notable events: the annual Memorial Service with commemorative wreath-commitment; and activities honoring Carrier Air Group 11, one of the heroic air groups that flew from the USS Hornet CV-12 during WWII.
This includes an evening premier screening of the documentary “Eleven” – a moving and fascinating new film about surviving Air Group 11 members. The public and the media are invited to attend and participate in all activities.
The USS Hornet will be open on Veteran’s Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3, in Alameda. All military veterans wearing unit jackets or hats, or who have proper ID, will receive free admission. Admission prices for the general public runs $10-20. Parking is free.
The special Veteran’s Day events are also part of the Hornet’s monthly Living Ship Day (weather permitting). Visitors can meet former crew, sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet, and experience the sights and sounds of naval aviation.
Memorial Service: At 11 a.m., Resident Chaplain John Berger will lead a Memorial Service honoring all American veterans. The service will be accompanied by the music of the Hornet Band and include a wreath-commitment ceremony. Flowers will be provided to all guests who wish to participate.
Air Group 11 – Daytime Panel Discussion and Exhibit Ribbon-Cutting: Immediately following the Memorial Service, there will be Panel Discussion featuring five veterans of USS Hornet CV-12’s Carrier Air Group 11. The historic WWII air group had a distinguished record during the war, including shooting down 105 enemy planes, destroying 272 planes on the ground, and damaging over 100 Japanese ships. Air Group 11 panelists include:
- Bob Maxwell, Fighting Squadron 11, veteran of Guadalcanal 1943, from Columbia, SC
- Verg Bloomquist, Torpedo Squadron 11, radioman and gunner, veteran of USS Hornet 1944-45, from Leavenworth, WA
- Robert W. J. Cocks, Bombing Squadron 11, pilot, veteran of Guadalcanal 1943 and USS Hornet 1944-45,from Victorville, CA
- Kermit “Tim” Enander, Fighting Squadron 11, plane captain, veteran of Guadalcanal 1943, from San Jose, CA
- Jon T. Williss, Fighting Squadron 11, veteran of USS Hornet 1944-45, from Jacksonville, FL
At 1 p.m., a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony will take place for a special exhibition commemorating Air Group 11. The two-room exhibition, overseen by guest curator, Tim Hampton, will feature one room that traces the history of the air group from 1942-1945, during which the pilots and aircrews served combat tours at Guadalcanal and onboard the USS Hornet.
The second room recreates a two-man stateroom depicting the living quarters of a pilot onboard the Hornet in 1944.The exhibit also honors the more than 60 men who were killed, listed as missing in action, and wounded during just four months of flying missions.
Air Group 11 – Evening Reception and Premier Screening (Doors open 5:30 p.m.): Following a reception from 6-7 p.m., the USS Hornet Museum will host the premier screening of the Director’s Cut of the new documentary, “Eleven,” at 7:30 p.m. Open to the public, tickets for the movie screening and reception are $20 and can be purchased by calling (510) 521-8448, ext. 224.
“Eleven” follows the story of 11 surviving veterans from the USS Hornet’s Air Group 11. Director George Retelas conceived the idea for a documentary after he discovered his late grandfather’s WWII journal, which contained photos and first-hand accounts of his time with the air group’s torpedo squadron in the South Pacific.
Inspired by his grandfather’s stories, Retelas launched a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year that enabled him to travel across the United States to interview and film the surviving veterans of Carrier Air Group 11.
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