The USS Hornet announced that the floating museum has hired its first female executive director in the person of Jill Knowland Rapposelli. She will lead museum operations, educational programs and the ship’s capital campaign. A Piedmont resident, Rapposelli lives in Piedmont. She comes to the Hornet from Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center where she served as Chief Operating Officer for 10 years.
Tim Hampton addressed those gathered last Tuesday for Veterans Day ceremonies aboard USS Hornet. They included survivors of Air Group 11, seated in a place of honor in front of Hampton. These men represent the pilots and aircrews who earned a Presidential Unit Citation during World War II.
Hampton curated an exhibition aboard the Hornet that highlights the history of Air Group 11 from 1942-1945. During that time the group’s pilots and crews, including the men pictured here, went through combat tours that shot down 105 enemy planes and destroyed 272 planes on the ground.
The World War II Air Force squadron, the Doolittle Raiders, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Obama on May 23. The medal is considered the highest honor Congress can give a civilian.
Congress awards the medal to individuals who have “performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
Hornet Settles Up
The Hornet Foundation delivered a $215,385 check to the city of Alameda to pay its outstanding lease obligation. This demonstrated the foundation’s commitment to keeping the historic aircraft carrier museum here. Five years ago the city’s lease with the Hornet recognized the foundation’s past due rent of $555,000 and challenged them to pay half, in return, the city would write off the remaining balance. The payment delivered meets that challenge.