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A view of the Flight Deck of the U.S.S. Hornet. This deck has launched and recovered many planes of many types. These Essex-class carriers in World War II had a top speed of 30 knots, almost 40 miles-per-hour. During flight operations, the carrier would turn into the wind and the speed of the ship would be increased to Flank speed - in other words, as fast as she could go. This provided extra lift for planes taking off. Can you imagine this 900 foot-long carrier hurling itself through the water at almost 40 miles-per-hour?
That's San Francisco you see in the background.