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USS Hornet (1805 brig)
USS Hornet
Artist's depiction of Hornet's foundering
Name: USS Hornet
Launched: 28 July 1805
Commissioned: 18 October 1805
Fate: Sunk in storm, 29 September 1829
General characteristics
Type: Sloop-of-war
Tonnage: 440
Length: 106 ft 9 in (32.5 m)
Beam: 31 ft 5 in (9.6 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. [Notes 1]

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. When Montague arrived and broke the blockade, Lawrence decided to shift his efforts to the Caribbean.

On 24 February 1813 Hornet engaged HMS Peacock off Guyana. Hornet forced Peacock, which had lost her captain and taken heavy casualties, to strike, but she sank shortly thereafter. Hornet then 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 that took place after the war had ended. On 27 April, she engaged HMS Cornwallis, having mistakenly identified her as a merchant vessel. Hornet managed to escape by throwing overboard boats, guns and other equipment so to enable higher speed.[1]


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.

See also

  • Glossary of nautical terms


  1. James (1837), Vol.6,p.387.


  1. Not to be confused with the Sloop-of-War Hornet also built in 1805.


  • James, William; Chamier, Frederick (1837).
    The naval history of Great Britain: from the declaration of war by France in 1793 to the accession of George IV
    Richard Bentley, London
    . pp. 568.
  • Harris, Gardner W. (1837). The life and services of Commodore William Bainbridge, United States navy. pp. 254. ISBN 0-945726-58-9.  Url1 Url2

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