The USS Hornet typically had one or two squadrons of planes onboard, for a total of about 40 planes.
Inside the mission briefing room, teams reviewed intelligence and mission details before embarking from the ship.
One former Navy crew member described to me the thick clouds of smoke that would hang in these briefing rooms as the fighter pilots received their orders.
Originally, the ready rooms were located below the flight deck but above the hangar deck, on the "O" levels. However, wartime experience convinced the Navy to relocate their aircrew spaces to a less vulnerable location, beneath the armored hangar deck.
Climbing multiple ladders to reach the flight deck became a problem for heavily laden aircrews, however. This issue was later solved with the installation of an escalator directly to the flight deck.