There’s a special 10-foot tree on the USS Hornet, donated by the Alhambra Valley Christmas Tree Farm in Martinez in appreciation of the legacy of the Hornet, as a tribute to all veterans, and for the museum’s community outreach programs.
“When I mentioned the Museum to Mark, the owner, he told me his family had been on the Hornet many times with their children attending community events,” Hornet CEO Mark Epperson said. “He told me his brother, Kurt, was acquainted with Commander John Crosby, a Naval Aviator who flew off of the Hornet during World War II, became an Ace in one mission, and retired from the Navy in 1969. This is a wonderful story and not as rare as one would think, as the Hornet has been connecting folks for the last 25 years.”
The tall tree, now beautifully decorated, stands proudly in the USS Hornet’s Hangar Bay, next to the F8 Crusader and a Toys for Tots donation box. Epperson hopes that the toy box will be filled soon, as Santa Claus himself will be stopping by for a visit.
“This Sunday, Santa will be making a trap (landing) on the Hornet, hopefully an OK pass, and will be taking photos with tots in our F8 Crusader cockpit from 1 to 3 p.m.,” Epperson said. “There will be $2 off the admission fee with a donation of a toy, so please come if you can and tell your friends and neighbors. The crew would like to fill up as many Toys for Tots boxes as possible.”