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Two Ordnance Crew Loading HVAR, Aircraft Carrier Flight Deck Crew, U.S.S. Bunker Hill, WWII--10 pieces

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Item Number: BH-36

Two Ordnance Crew Loading HVAR, Aircraft Carrier Flight Deck Crew, U.S.S. Bunker Hill, WWII

High Velocity Aircraft Rockets, or HVAR, were also known by the nickname “Holy Moses”, were an American unguided rocket developed during the second World War, to attack targets on the ground from aircraft.

U.S.S. Bunker Hill (CV/CVA/CVS-17, AVT-9) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy.  The ship was named for the Battle of Bunker Hill in the American Revolutionary War.  Commissioned in May 1943 and sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations, the ship participated in battles in the Southwest Pacific, Central Pacific, and the drive toward Japan through Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and air raids on the Japanese homeland.

While covering the invasion of Okinawa, Bunker Hill was struck by two kamikazes in quick succession, setting the vessel on fire.  Casualties exceeded 600, including 346 confirmed dead and an additional 43 missing, the second heaviest personnel losses suffered by any carrier to survive the war after Franklin.  After the attack, Bunker Hill returned to the U.S. mainland and was still under repair when hostilities ended.

After the war, Bunker Hill was employed as a troop transport bringing American service members back from the Pacific and decommissioned in 1947.  While in reserve the vessel was reclassified as an attack carrier (CVA), then an antisubmarine carrier (CVS), and finally an Auxiliary Aircraft Landing Training Ship (AVT) but was never modernized and never saw active service again.  Bunker Hill and Franklin were the only Essex-class ships never recommissioned after World War II.

Fighter Squadron 84 or VF-84 was an aviation unit of the United States Navy. Originally established on 1 May 1944, it was disestablished on 8 October 1945.  It was the first US Navy squadron to be designated as VF-84.

Released in APRIL 2020.