Hornet’s Antennas in Need of Restoration

Courtesy photo    The USS Hornet’s radio operators were at the forefront of technology during World War II. Now some of the radio equipment needs restoration.

At the onset of World War II the U.S. Navy entered the conflict with highly developed radio technology for global overseas communication. Pioneering amateurs and scientists made critical advances working with high-frequency radio signals and produced mobile, long and short-range equipment later adapted for tactical use by the armed forces.  

The all-volunteer Radio Division on the USS Hornet is restoring three original high-frequency communication antennae that have deteriorated after 75 years of service. The division needs the public’s help to provide for vital safety upgrades, mount hardware, replace elements and perform corrosion mitigation.  

Safety is a factor due to future possible mounting hardware or antenna element failure, causing danger to people and objects below the antennas.

Aesthetics are affected by inappropriate mounting and broken or missing elements. This detracts from the accurate historical look not only for visitors (temporary), but on images as well (permanent). The functionality of these antennas can be restored as well. The Hornet Amateur Radio Club (HARC) mission is to promote the USS Hornet, Sea, Air & Space Museum by contacting thousands of amateur radio operators around the world. 

Restoring the attenae would expand capabilities for world-wide two-way communications by HARC. The antennas selected for this project include the starboard upper three-wire fan, the discage and the port three-wire fan.

The starboard fan needs mounting hardware repair and placement, including welding on new eyelets, corrosion control and painting of the upper yardarm. The discage needs top-loading elements and an insulated mount replaced, spreader bar repair, correct wire element mounting, corrosion control and painting. The port fan needs one wire element replaced that was accidentally broken during preparations for an event several years ago.

To support the antennae restoration project and promote the division’s worldwide radio communications efforts; a gift of any amount will go a long way. 

Thanks to 52 generous donors who have already given, this effort is $4,200 closer to its fundraising goal. To donate securely through the Hornet gofundme page, visit https://tinyurl.com/y2jmgwgu.