USS Wasp CV-7

Aircraft Carrier
Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation
Quincy, Massachusetts

Hull Number:
March 27, 1934
April 25, 1940
Keel Laid:
April 1, 1936
April 4, 1939

November 2, 1942
Sunk Sept. 15, 1942. Damaged by 3 torpedoes from I-19 and scuttled by USS Lansdowne DD-486.

Location: South Pacific, 268 miles southeast of Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands.
(12.25S - 164.08E)

193 crewmen killed, 1,946 survivors removed by, USS Helena CL-50, USS Salt Lake City CA-35,
USS Laffey DD-459, USS Lansdowne DD-486.

Dimensions, machinery and performance
741' 3"
2 Parsons geared steam turbines (oil fired)
80' 9"
6 Yarrow 565 psi.
20' std. / 23' full
Flight Deck:
14,700 std. / 19,116 full
29.5 knots
1,800 (2,167 wartime)
12,000 NM @ 15 knots

Armament as built
Number Carried
Maximum Range / Ceiling
5"/38 (127mm)
single mounts
17,392 yards @ 45° (9.8 miles)
AA ceiling 37,200'
55.18 lb. AAC shell
Rate of fire 15 RPM

1.1"/75 (28mm)
4 quad mounts
7,400 yards @ 40.9° (4.2 miles)
AA ceiling 19,000'
.917 lb HE shell
Rate of fire 100 RPM

.50"/90 (127 mm) (a)
Browning .50 caliber
single mounts
2,600 yards (1.4 miles)
AA ceiling 1,500'
Rate of fire 450 RPM

.79"/70 (20mm) (b)
single mounts
4,800 yards @ 45° (2.5 miles)
AA ceiling 10,000'
.271 lb. HE shell
Rate of fire 250-320 RPM
Armament notes:
15 later removed
Added during an overhaul

Apr. 25, 1940
May 31, 1942
Captain John W. Reeves Jr.
May 31, 1942
Sept. 15, 1942
Captain Forrest P. Sherman

American Defense Service Medal ("A" device )
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (1 star)
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2 stars)
World War II Victory Medal

Battle Stars
Apr. 14, 1942
Reinforcement of Malta
Aug. 7, 1942
Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings
Aug. 10, 1942
Capture and defense of Guadalcanal

Apr. 4, 1939:
Christened by Mrs. Charles Edison and launched.
Apr. 25, 1940:
Commissioned at the US Army Quartermaster Base, South Boston, Massachusetts.
Wasp stayed at Boston for fitting out until early June 1940.

June 5, 1940:
Radio direction finder calibration tests off Boston.
June 24, 1940:
Arrived at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
June 28, 1940:
Departed Hampton Roads on shake down cruise for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in company
with USS Morris DD-417. Carrier qualifications were conducted en route.

July 1, 1940:
Arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
July 9, 1940:
A Vought SB2U-2 Vindicator crashed while off Cuba both crew killed.
July 11, 1940:
Departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Hampton Roads, Virginia.
July 15, 1940:

Arrived Hampton Roads, Virginia. While there the 1st Marine Air Group was embarked
and taken to the southern drill grounds where carrier qualifications were conducted for
a week. The aircraft were disembarked at Norfolk, Virginia and Wasp moved to the
Boston Naval Shipyard for post shake down repairs.

July 21, 1940:
Steering drills and full power trials off Boston.
July 22, 1940:

Departed Boston for Norfolk, Virginia. There air crews from VF-7 and VS-72 trained in
take off and landings.

Aug. 28, 1940:
Arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs and alterations.
Sept. 26, 1940:
Sea trials off Hampton Roads.
Oct. 11, 1940:
Moved from Norfolk Naval shipyard to Norfolk Operating Base and assigned to
Carrier Division 3, Patrol Force. At Norfolk 24 US Army P-40 Warhawk's from the
8th Army Pursuit Group and 9 O-47A's from the US Army 2nd Observation Squadron
were embarked.

Oct. 12, 1940:
Launched the US Army aircraft in a test designed to compare take off runs between
Army and Navy aircraft. This was the first time Army aircraft were launched from a
Navy carrier.

Oct. 15, 1940:
Departed Norfolk for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in company with USS Plunkett DD-431 and
USS Niblack DD-424. Air crews conducted training flights en route.

Oct. 19, 1940:
Arrived Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. For the remainder of October and into November,
Wasp trained in the Guantanamo Bay area. Her planes flew carrier qualification and refresher training flights while her gunners sharpened up their skills in short-range battle practices at targets towed by the new fleet tug USS Seminole AT-65. While operating in the Culebra, Virgin Islands, area, Wasp again teamed with the aviators of the 1st Marine Air Wing, giving the flying leathernecks practice in carrier take-offs and landings.

Nov. 22, 1940:
Departed Caribbean area.
Nov. 26, 1940:
Arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs.
Jan. 23, 1941:
Departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
Jan. 27, 1941:
Arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Wasp conducted a regular routine of flight operations into February. With USS Walke DD-416 as her plane guard, Wasp operated out of Guantanamo and Culebra, conducting her maneuvers with an impressive array of warships including USS Texas BB-35, USS Ranger CV-4, USS Tuscaloosa CA-37, USS Wichita CA-45 and a host of destroyers. Wasp ran gunnery drills and exercises, as well as routine flight training evolutions, into March.

Mar. 4, 1941:
Departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. En route conducted a night battle practice into the
early morning hours of the Mar. 5.

Mar. 8, 1941:
Rescued the crew of the sinking schooner George E. Klinck, all 8 men were saved.
Mar. 8, 1941:
Arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Wasp underwent repairs and alterations.
Mar. 22, 1941:
Departed Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
Mar. 25, 1941:
Arrived at St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She soon shifted to Guantanamo Bay and loaded marine stores for transportation to Norfolk.

Mar. 26, 1941:
Departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Mar. 30, 1941:
Arrived at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Wasp conducted routine flight operations out of Hampton Roads over the ensuing days, into April. In company with USS Sampson DD-394,
the carrier conducted an abortive search for a downed patrol plane in her vicinity on 8 April. For the remainder of the month, Wasp operated off the eastern seaboard between Newport, Rhode Island, and Norfolk conducting extensive flight and patrol operations with her embarked air group.

May 12, 1941:
Arrived Grassy Bay, Bermuda.
May 20, 1941:
Wasp got underway in company with USS Quincy CA-39, USS Livermore DD-429, and
USS Kearny DD-432 for exercises at sea.

June 3, 1941:
Arrived at Grassy Bay, Bermuda.
June 6, 1941:
Departed Grassy Bay, Bermuda in company with USS Edison DD-439 for Norfolk.
June 20, 1941:
Departed Norfolk, en route Wasp and her escorts patrolled the stretch of the Atlantic between Bermuda and Hampton Roads until 5 July, as the Atlantic Fleet's neutrality patrol zones were extended eastward.

July 5, 1941:
Arrived at Grassy Bay, Bermuda.
July 12, 1941:
Departed Grassy Bay for Norfolk in company with USS Tuscaloosa CA-37,
USS Grayson DD-435, USS Anderson DD-411, and USS Rowan DD-405.

July 13, 1941:
Arrived at Norfolk Operating Base.
July 23, 1941:
While at Norfolk 32 Army Air Force pilots reported on board "for temporary duty".
July 24, 1941:
30 Curtiss P-40C's Warhawk and three PT-17 trainers from the Army Air Force 33rd Pursuit Squadron, 8th Air Group, Air Force Combat Command, home-based at Mitchell Field, New York were loaded in preparation for the US occupation of Iceland.

July 28, 1941:
Departed Norfolk for Iceland in company with USS O'Brien DD-415 and
USS Walke DD-416 as plane guards. USS Vincennes CA-44 later joined the formation at sea.
Aug. 6, 1941:
Launched the US Army aircraft and turned for home.
Aug. 14, 1941:
Arrived at Norfolk.
Aug. 22, 1941:
Departed Norfolk for carrier qualifications and refresher landings off the Virginia Capes.
Aug. 24, 1941:
Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, Commander Cruisers, Atlantic Fleet, shifted his flag from
USS Savannah CL-42 to Wasp, while the ships lay anchored in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Aug. 25, 1941:
Departed Hampton Roads in company with USS Savannah CL-42, USS Monssen DD-436 and USS Kearny DD-432, Wasp conducted flight operations over the ensuing days.
(Scuttlebutt on board the carrier had her steaming out in search of a German heavy
cruiser, Admiral Hipper, which was reportedly roaming the western Atlantic in search
of prey. Suspicions were confirmed for many on the 30th when the British battleship HMS Rodney was sighted some 20 miles away, on the same course as the Americans.
In any event, if they had been in search of a German raider, they did not make contact with her.)

Sept. 2, 1941:
Arrived at Gulf of Paria, Trinidad. Admiral Hewitt shifted his flag back to USS Savannah CL-42.

Sept. 6, 1941:
Departed Trinidad for neutrality patrol.
Sept. 22, 1941:
Arrived at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.
Sept. 23, 1941:
Departed Placentia Bay in company with USS Wichita CA-45, four destroyers, and the repair ship USS Vulcan AR-6.

Sept. 28, 1941:
Arrived at Hvalfjord, Iceland.
Oct. 6, 1941:
Departed Hvalfjord in company with USS Vincennes CA-44 and four destroyers.
Oct. 11, 1941:
Arrived at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada.
Nov. 1, 1941:
Arrived at Grassy Bay, Bermuda. Wasp operated on patrols out of Bermuda for the remainder of the month.

Dec. 3, 1941:
Departed Grassy Bay and rendezvoused with USS Wilson DD-408. While the destroyer operated as plane guard, Wasp's air group flew day and night refresher training missions. In addition, the two ships conducted gunnery drills.

Dec. 5, 1941:
Returned to Grassy Bay, Bermuda.
Dec. 7, 1941:
At anchor in Grassy Bay.
Dec. 11, 1941:
Departed Grassy Bay in company with USS Brooklyn CL-40, USS Sterett DD-407 and
USS Wilson DD-408, departed Grassy Bay and headed for Martinique to search for the
French auxiliary cruiser Barfleur which US intelligence believed had gotten underway
for sea. The French were accordingly warned that the auxiliary cruiser would be sunk or captured unless she returned to port and resumed her internment. As it turned out, Barfleur had not departed after all, but had remained in harbor. Wasp and the destroyers
returned to Bermuda.

Dec. 23, 1941:
Departed Bermuda in company with USS Long Island AVG-1, USS Stack DD-406 and
USS Sterett DD-407.

Dec. 25, 1941:
Arrived at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs.
Jan. 14, 1942:
Departed Norfolk and headed north, she touched at Argentia, Newfoundland, and Casco Bay, Maine. She operated with Task Group 22.6 in the North Atlantic.

Mar. 17, 1942:
Collided with USS Stack DD-406. The collision punched a hole in the starboard side
and completely flooding the destroyer's number one fireroom. Stack was detached and proceeded to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where her damage was repaired.

Mar. 21, 1942:
Arrived at Norfolk.
Mar. 24, 1942:
Departed Norfolk for Casco Bay, Maine.
Mar. 26, 1942:
Departed Casco Bay assigned to Task Force 39 en route for Scapa Flow, Orkney's to
join the British Home Fleet, arriving around Apr. 3.

Apr. 9, 1942:
Departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde.
Apr. 13, 1942:
47 Supermarine "Spitfire" Mk. V fighter planes were embarked at the King George Dock,
Glasgow, Scotland to be ferried to Malta.

Apr. 14, 1942:
Departed Glasgow in company with Force W which included HMS Renown, HMS Cairo,
HMS Charbydis. USS Madison DD-425 and USS Lang DD-399 were also part of the screen.

Wasp and her consorts passed through the Straits of Gibraltar under cover of the
pre-dawn darkness on 19 April, avoiding the possibility of being discovered by Spanish
or Axis agents. At 0400 on 20 April, Wasp spotted 11 Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters
on her deck and quickly launched them to form a combat air patrol (CAP) over Force W.
Meanwhile, the Spitfires were warming up their engines in the hangar deck spaces below.
With the Wildcats patrolling overhead, the Spitfires were brought up singly on the after
elevator, spotted for launch, and then given the go-ahead to take off. One by one, they
roared down the deck and over the forward rounddown, until each Spitfire was aloft and
winging toward Malta.

May 3, 1942:
Departed for the Mediterranean again loaded with Spitfires in company with HMS Eagle,
which was also loaded with aircraft for Malta. Following this operation Wasp was
ordered back to the USA.
(Sometime during these operations German radio broadcasts reported that the Wasp
had been sunk which came as quite a surprise to her crew!)

May 11, 1942:
Wasp received the following message;

"To the captain and company of the USS Wasp. Many thanks to you all for the timely
help. Who said a wasp couldn't sting twice?"
-Prime Minister Sir Winston S. Churchill

May 31, 1942:
Capt Reeves relieved by Capt. Forrest P. Sherman.
June 6, 1942:
Departed Norfolk assigned to Task Force 37 in company with USS North Carolina BB-55,
USS Quincy CA-39, USS San Juan CL-54 and a half-dozen destroyers.

June 10, 1942:
Transited the Panama Canal and then redesignated Task Force 18.
June 19, 1942:
Arrived at San Diego, California.
June 22, 1942:
Carrier qualifications off San Diego returning June 23.
July 1, 1942:
Departed San Diego for the Tonga Islands as part of the convoy for the five transports
that had embarked the 2d Marine Regiment.

July 18, 1942:
Arrived at Nukualofa, Tongatabu.
While en route Wasp developed serious engine trouble. The ship's black gang, however,
worked diligently to do the preliminary work in lifting, repairing, and replacing the ship's
starboard high-pressure turbine.

Aug. 7, 1942:
Launched aircraft to cover landings on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Wasp remained
in the area supporting operations.

Sept. 15, 1942:
Sunk, damaged by 3 torpedoes from I-19 and scuttled by USS Lansdowne DD-486.

Page published Jan 11, 2008