Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Tags
Related Content
Topic
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
  • Spanish-American War 1898
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

Wasp (CV-7)

1940-1942


USS WASP (CV-7). Anchored at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, “dressed ship” for Navy Day on 27 October 1940. Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 43461.

USS Wasp (CV-7). Anchored at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, “dressed ship” for Navy Day on 27 October 1940. Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 43461.


Construction on the eighth Wasp (CV-7) began on 1 April 1936 at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. (Quincy, Massachusetts). She was launched on 4 April 1939, and was commissioned on 25 April 1940 at the Army Quartermaster Base, South Boston, Massachusetts, with Captain John W. Reeves Jr. in command.

Wasp was initially employed in the Atlantic campaign supporting the occupation of Iceland in 1941, the British Home Fleet in April 1942, and transporting British fighter aircraft twice to Malta. In June 1942, Wasp was transferred to the Pacific to support the battles of Coral Sea and Midway under the command of Captain Forrest P. Sherman.

On 15 September 1942, after supporting the invasion of Guadalcanal, Wasp was fatally hit by three torpedoes from a Japanese submarine. Total casualties included 25 officers and 150 men. Jack Singer, an International News Service correspondent, also died in the disaster.

As a result, Wasp was scuttled by USS Lansdowne that night, and she sunk at 2100 by the bow. Captain Sherman later praised the captains of the five destroyers who came to the rescue of his men, stating, "Their task required the nicest judgment in seamanship and required that their ships be stopped for considerable periods while many seriously wounded casualties were laboriously taken aboard. The limited facilities of the Duncan and Lansdowne in particular were stretched almost to the breaking point in an attempt to support life in the gravely wounded and to make all others as comfortable as possible during the passage to port."

Wasp received two battle stars for her World War II service.

Further Reading

Selected Imagery


USS HORNET (CV-8)

USS Wasp (CV-7). Launching officer, Lieutenant David McCampbell, USN, gets the ready signal from the pilot of a British Royal Air Force Spitfire, just before it took off for Malta, 9 May 1942. This was Wasp’s second Malta reinforcement mission. Note deck crewmen holding the plane back. A Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat is in the background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. 80-G-7085



USS WASP (CV-7). With snow covered SB2U-2 on flight deck, February 1942. National Archives, 80-G-13107

USS Wasp (CV-7). With snow covered SB2U-2 on flight deck, February 1942. National Archives, 80-G-13107.



Ship's data plaque, photographed in September 1940.

Ship's data plaque, photographed in September 1940.



1.1" Quadruple Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Mounting on USS WASP (CV-7), 26 February 1941.

1.1" Quadruple Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Mounting on USS Wasp (CV-7), 26 February 1941.



USS Wasp (CV-7) Captain Forrest P. Sherman, ship’s Commanding Officer, inspects her Marine detachment. Taken at San Diego, California, in June 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-K-763, now in the collections of the National Archives

USS Wasp (CV-7) Captain Forrest P. Sherman, ship’s Commanding Officer, inspects her Marine detachment. Taken at San Diego, California, in June 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph 80-G-K-763, now in the collections of the National Archives.



USS Wasp (CV-7). View of deck edge elevator in the between decks position, taken June 1940. Plane on elevator is a Vought SB2U “Vindicator.” Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 43466.

USS Wasp (CV-7). View of deck edge elevator in the between decks position, taken June 1940. Plane on elevator is a Vought SB2U “Vindicator.” Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 43466.



Captain John W. Reeves, Jr., USN

Captain John W. Reeves, Jr., USN. NH 47103



Photo #: 80-G-16864  USS Wasp (CV-7)

USS Wasp (CV-7) scene on the carrier's port bridge wing, during operations off Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942. Among those present are (from left to right, in the right center) Commander D.F. Smith (hatless); Captain Forrest P. Sherman, Commanding Officer (wearing helmet); Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, Commander Task Group 61.1 (facing camera); and Lieutenant Commander Wallace M. Beakley, Commander Wasp Air Group, who is making his report to RAdm. Noyes. Note SBD-3 scout bombers (one with a rather small National star painted on its fuselage) on the flight deck and .30 caliber machine gun mounted on the bridge bulwark.



USS Wasp (CV-7) ntering Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 26 May 1942. An escorting destroyer is in the background.

USS Wasp (CV-7) ntering Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 26 May 1942. An escorting destroyer is in the background.


Published: Thu Mar 14 16:46:26 EDT 2019