USS Hornet (CV-8) - Legends of Warfare

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
David Doyle
Other Publication Information
Size: 9″ x 9″, 177 b/w photos, 112 pages, Binding: hard cover
Company: David Doyle Books - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: David Doyle Books - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

The Author

David Doyle’s earliest published works appeared in periodicals aimed at the hobby of historic military vehicle restoration. By 1999 this included regular features in leading hobby publications, appearing regularly in US, English and Polish magazines. Since 2003, over 100 of his books have been published. Broadening his horizons from his initial efforts concerning vehicles, he soon added aircraft and warships to his research objectives.


The book is divided into four chapters all covering the beginning construction to the final day of the Hornet. I’ve included a brief description of what is contained in each chapter.

  • Chapter 1 - Construction
    • Originally there were to be Yorktown class ships the Enterprise and the Yorktown. With the War building around the world, Congress decided to build a third ship the Hornet. The Ships keel was laid down on September 25, 1939 and finished on October 20, 1941.
  • Chapter 2 - Into Service
    • In December 1941, Hornet was wrapping up sea trials and went back to port for repairs. In February 1942 Hornet saw two B-25’s hoisted aboard and begin take-off testing for what world be her next assignment.
  • Chapter 3 - "Shangri-La" The Doolittle Raid
    • When Franklin Roosevelt was asked by a news reporter of the origin of the bombers that had just struck Japan he replied, they came from a secret base at Shangri-La.
  • Chapter 4 - A Fighter to the End
    • Hornet was sent to the Battle of the Coral Sea but arrived too late to participate. Her next assignment would be to Midway.
    • In September 1942, Hornet was sent to Guadalcanal for the ensuing battle of Santa Cruz where she was eventually sunk by Japanese Forces.

In the Book

The book is hardbound with 4 chapters and 112 pages. It didn’t take long for me to read all the book in one night. All the information on the ship and the photographs that the book contained were a joy to look at and read. All the photos were black and white and had a lot of clarity.

Some of the items described in the book were the ship’s initial World War tour assignments, and a description of preparation to bomb Japan and executing the mission. One of many incidents described in the book was the emergency landing of a F4F wildcat from the Yorktown on the Hornet. When the Wildcat landed the machine gun safety system had been damaged, so when the Wildcat landed the guns started firing killing five crew members and wounding twenty.

The book is full of great photographs and descriptions of activities during the life of the ship, ending with a detailed explanation of the ship’s final days at the Battle of Santa Cruz.


I had a limited knowledge of the USS Hornet previously and thus the reason to request a review of this book. The subject was very well covered with history of the ship construction, missions, and of the different upgrades throughout its service.

If you are preparing to build a model of the USS Hornet, or if you just have an interest in the Hornet, I recommend this book as a reference.

I want to thank David Doyle and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to read and review the book.


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