Back on March 27, Thomas Hawk posted on 10 Great Places to Take Your Kids in the San Francisco Bay Area. Number six on his list was the USS Hornet, docked in Alameda. While the standard tours are terrific, if your kids are 12 and over, you can up the ante on the experience by signing up for the Hornet’s Flashlight Tour, held on the third Saturday of every month at 8:30 AM. Not only will you get to beat the crowds, but you’ll be able see areas of the Hornet that are not accessible to those on the standard tour.
If you’re seeking more naval experiences, across the Bay, at Pier 45, rests the USS Pampanito, a decommissioned Balao class submarine. The Pampanito served in the Pacific theater in World War II. In addition to earning six battle stars, she was instrumental in the rescue of seventy-three British and Australian POWs who survived the destruction of the Japanese transport ship, the Rakuyo Maro. This story and many others are highlighted on the tour of the sub.
Both of these special tours (USS Hornet and USS Pampanito) are detailed with numerous photos and commentary by Paul Joyce on his blog that exposes a number of other Bay Area attractions, restaurants, and novelties.
If you can’t get enough naval fare, President Roosevelt’s presidential yacht, the USS Potomac, can be toured at its mooring in Oakland. In addition, the USS Red Oak Victory, a WWII era ammunition ship (that also saw action in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars), is on display in Richmond.