YES this is an escalator!! It was not original to the ship but was added in the 1950's. Originally the room where they prep the pilots was right below the flight deck so it was not a big deal for the pilots to go up about 10 steps of a ladder in all their flight gear. But then they moved the room to below the hanger bay so it was more protected from enemy fire. So they installed the escalator to make it easier on the pilots. And yes it still works.
The USS hornet was the air craft carrier that picked up Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts after the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. They have quite a bit of NASA stuff on board.
The kids thought this was a score board. But actually it is a compass heading and how many knots they are traveling. So supply ships could come along side and travel parallel while transferring goods. The flags to the right are countries the ship was in.
The whole time we were on board, I thought about my Grandpa Bill who served in the Navy during WW II and my brother Bill who served in the Navy during the Gulf War. My brother was on an aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The Nimitz is much larger than the Hornet and this is actually the second Hornet. The first sank in 1941 so they changed the name of this new carrier when it was given it's commission in 1942. The USS Hornet had a maximum crew of 2,500 men. I believe Bill said the Nimitz had a crew of 5,000.
The ship had everything. Medical and dental facilities, library, chapel, post office, a store to buy gum or cigarettes and of course the brig (jail). I would definitely not want to go there. The cells had 2 bunks in them and were just big enough for the bunk and to walk along side them. If you have to use the bathroom you had to wait for the next "head call". There were 4 cells in a tiny little hall way, 2 decks below the water line. It was claustrophobic! I couldn't wait to get out of there.
The engine room was AMAZING! I always find it interesting the technology that they had before my generation. We look around us at all our modern cell phones and other gadgets and gizmos. They had none of that, but what they did have was very sophisticated.
I, of course, loved the whole experience. Eli had an upset stomach most of the time. But was a trooper and even slept the whole night with his group. I was with the other moms in another berth.
Oh and if your a fan of the show "Ghost Hunters" you can look up the episode they filmed on the USS Hornet. Apparently it is haunted!