USS Hornet (1805 brig)

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USS Hornet
Artist's depiction of Hornet's foundering
Career 100x35px
Name: USS Hornet
Launched: 28 July 1805
Commissioned: 18 October 1805
Fate: Sunk in storm, 29 September 1829
General characteristics
Type: Sloop-of-war
Displacement: 440 long tons (450 t)
Length: 106 ft 9 in (32.54 m)
Beam: 31 ft 5 in (9.58 m)
Draft: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Armament: 18 × 32-pounder carronades, 2 × 12-pounder long guns

The third USS Hornet was a brig-rigged sloop-of-war in the United States Navy. Later, however, she was re-rigged as a ship.

Hornet was launched on 28 July 1805 in Baltimore and commissioned on 18 October. She fought in the War of 1812 under command of James Lawrence, who later (while commanding Chesapeake) gave the United States Navy their famous motto "Don't give up the ship."

War of 1812

At the outbreak of war Hornet sailed under Lawrence's command on a raiding voyage to South America. She captured the privateer Dolphin on 9 July 1812, although the British recaptured the ship shortly afterwards. Hornet assisted in the blockade of HMS Bonne Citoyenne in the harbor at Salvador, Brazil and sank HMS Peacock on 24 February 1813. Following this she returned to New London.

On 14 November 1814, under new command, Hornet sailed on a second raiding voyage to the South Atlantic. On 23 March 1815, she captured HMS Penguin in a short battle off Tristan da Cunha. This was one of several naval engagements which took place after the war had ended. On 27 April, she engaged HMS Cornwallis, having mistakenly identified her as a cargo vessel. Hornet managed to escape by throwing overboard boats, guns and other equipment so to enable higher speed.


Following the war, she took part in anti-piracy patrols in the Caribbean. Hornet sank in a storm off Tampico, Mexico on 29 September 1829 with the loss of all on board.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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