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Photo exhibit aboard USS Hornet honors Filipinos in US Navy

Rommel Conclara | TFC News Alameda, California

Posted at Oct 05 2021 04:35 PM

For the first time aboard the USS Hornet, Filipino American History Month will be celebrated in the form of an exhibit honoring the 120 years of loyal and faithful service by Filipinos in the US Navy.

Photo exhibit aboard USS Hornet.
Photo exhibit aboard the USS Hornet.
Some Filipinos honored at a photo exhibit aboard the USS Hornet.
Some Filipinos honored at a photo exhibit aboard the USS Hornet.

For the entire month of October, panels will stand on the hanger bay of the USS Hornet, chronicling history dating back to 1901 when then-President William McKinley created the Insular Force which recruited many Filipinos. "Initially, they served as mess men, as stewards. They couldn't rise through the ranks. But then we see Captain Albea. We see several flag officers of Filipino descent. So we are slowly rising there but we need to see more," Cecilia Gaerlan of Bataan Legacy Historical Society said.

Capt. Leopoldo Albea is one of the Navy's high-ranking Filipino American officers. He describes having the exhibit aboard the Hornet as very significant.

"You could almost hear the echoes of the engines. You could almost smell the fuel. It's ok to go back in time and think about it as we look forward as well. And Hornet, her reputation, and everything she did [as] a part of history is really important," Albea said.

For her part, Gaerlan noted that the USS Hornet served an important role during the liberation of the Philippines. She pointed out "they were in the Battle of Samar, which is part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle ever in history."

Aside from the photo exhibit, there is also an ongoing campaign to name the first US Navy ship after Filipino sailor Telesforo Trinidad who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1915. In honor of Fil-Am History Month, advocates urge people to visit ussttc.org to find out more information on how to get the ship named after Trinidad.

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