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Named USS Hornet Boxed Practice Telegraph Key
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A WWII era Bakelite practice telegraph key, commercially produced by the "Fleron" Company. The key was battery operated (not sure if it still works; batteries have not been inserted), with a "Radio Buzzer" and "Long Range Blinker". It is still in its well worn box, and on the lid of the box is written the name of the owner, "E.W. Peterson", a U.S. Navy Aviation Radioman 1st Class, with his ships, the "USS Sable" (an aircraft carrier training ship) and the "USS Hornet". Research has indicated that Ernest Willard Peterson, Jr., service number 646 25 45, enlisted in the Navy on December 29, 1941, only a few weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also on the side of the lid is written the name of a "Lieutenant George Taylor". The telegraph key shows expected age and some rust on metal components. The USS Hornet was involved in many of the major combat actions of the war in the Pacific over a continuous period of 16 months in 1944 and 1945, including the famous "Mariana Turkey Shoot". 10 of the Hornet's fighter pilots achieved "Ace in a Day" status, shooting down five enemy aircraft in a single day. The ship went on to serve in key defense operations through the 1950's, and served as well in combat in Vietnam. The Hornet was the recovery ship for the crew of the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969. The ship is now a national historic landmark.