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USS Hornet - Air Group 11 - Video Production - SF Bay Area - Non-profit - DOHP

Updated: Feb 9, 2019

USS Hornet, Veteran
One of the heroes who served on the USS Hornet. Photo by Derek O. Hanley.

I was honored to be on the USS Hornet in Alameda, CA on Veterans Day to produce this video. When I arrived, there were bagpipes playing, the ship was bustling with people and activity. In addition to the ceremony honoring our fallen, which is customary on the Hornet for this day, there was a compliment of those who were in Air Group 11 and fought during WWII. Air Group 11 fighter squadron VF-11 which had the nickname the "Sun Downers" served in the Pacific theatre and saw heavy action in areas like Guadalcanal.

VF-11 Fighter Squadron
VF-11 "Sun Downers"

The compliment from this unit were there for the world premiere of the documentary film "Eleven" by George Retelas, and the grand opening of the Air Group 11 exhibit on board the ship. After the national anthem and words from the Navy chaplain, the ceremonial wreath was thrown over board off the aft end. I then had a little time to shoot the exhibit before it was opened to the public. What a beautiful display they had, and I learned a thing or two while I was shooting my different angles. After the ribbon cutting, by one of the AG-11 vets, the public was allowed in for the first time, and I got to hear some of the vets talking about what they remember and see their reaction to the exhibit. So grateful to be able to be around such heroic individuals, my thanks for your service.

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