The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has operated at unprecedented power levels for a short-pulse spallation source. Target operations have been successful but not without difficulties. Three targets out of the eight used to date have ended life unexpectedly causing interruptions to the neutron science users. The first of a kind mercury target design experiences beam-pulse induced cavitation damage that is suspected in one of the target leaks. The two other targets suffered early failures due to defective welds. Diagnosing the causes of target leaks and understanding of the progression of cavitation erosion and radiation damage effects has made use of post-irradiation examination (PIE) capabilities. As a result of PIE, review of quality assurance practices and related investigations, design changes are being implemented and manufacturing oversight improved. This paper describes SNS target operating experience, including the more important observations and lessons learned.