Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Courtesy of CAPT Gene Oleson, CHC, USN (Ret)
(bluejacket.com)

USS WASP   (CV-7)


Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Defense Service Medal ("A" device) / American Campaign Medal
2nd Row: European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (1 star) / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1 star) / World War II Victory Medal

Wasp Class Aircraft Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
19 Sep 1935 1 Apr 1936 4 Apr 1939 25 Apr 1940   2 Nov 1942
Builder: Bethlehem Steel Corp., Quincy, Mass.

Fate: Hit by two torpedoes from Japanese submarine I-19, 15 Sep 1942, while operating in the Southwestern Pacific in support of forces on Guadalcanal. Gasoline fires became rapidly uncontrollable and she had to be abandoned. Scuttled by USS Lansdowne (DD-486).

Destroyers Laffey (DD-459), Duncan (DD-485), Lansdowne, Lardner (DD-487) and Farenholt (DD-491) rescued over 2,000 survivors, including the Task Force commander (RADM Noyes) and Wasp's commanding officer (CAPT Sherman.) Most of them were taken to Noumea aboard Laffey, Lansdowne and cruisers Salt Lake City (CA-25) and Helena (CL-50). One hundred and ninety-three of her crew were lost with the ship and remain on active duty.


Specifications
(As built, 1940)
Displacement: 14,700 tons standard (design); 19,116 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 688' x 80.75' x 20'  /  209.7 x 24.6 x 6.1 meters
Dimensions (max.): 741.25' x 109'  /  225.9 x 33.2 meters
Armor: 60-lb STS conning tower; 3.5" (side), 50-lb (deck) over steering gear
Power plant: 6 boilers (565 psi); steam turbines; 2 shafts; 75,000 shp
Speed: 29.5 knots
Endurance (design): 12,000 nautical miles @ 15 knots
Armament: 8 single 5"/38 gun mounts; 4 quad 1.1"/75 machine gun mounts; 24 .50-cal machine guns
Aircraft: 80+
Aviation facilities: 2 elevators (+ 1 deck-edge); 2 flight-deck and 2 hangar-deck hydraulic catapults
Crew: 1,800 (ship's company + air wing) (peacetime)
Click on Thumbnail
for Full Size Image
Size Image Description Source
Construction
CV-7 Wasp
NS020722
142k

"Navy's Newest Stinger."

"Rapidly nearing completion the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, Wasp will be launched April 4 [1939] at the Fore River plant of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, Mass. The $20,000,000 vessel is 739 feet long and has a 110-foot beam, the largest ever built at the Fore River yard."

Associated Press photo. Bx list wf neg ny. hbr 3/31/39-7pes-pub.

AP photo from the collection of Micheal Strout, via Jonathan Eno
Pre-War
CV-7 Wasp
NS020724
109k

A peacetime photo of USS Wasp (CV-7), location and exact date unknown.

Tommy Trampp
CV-7 Wasp
NS020730
92k

Bow view of USS Wasp (CV-7) anchored at an unknown location, circa 1940.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 2003.001.175, Chas Fischer Spring Co.

Mike Green
CV-7 Wasp
NS020731
177k

SB2U-2 Vindicator with Scouting Squadron Seventy-Two (VS-72) pictured sitting on the deck edge elevator of USS Wasp (CV-7) looking aft and down from aft end of the gun platform. Shows elevator between decks. Picture taken at Quincy, MA. June 1940.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.253.2139, Robert L. Lawson photograph collection.

Curtis Tammany
CV-7 Wasp
NS020731a
126k

SB2U-2 Vindicator with Scouting Squadron Seventy-Two (VS-72) pictured on the deck edge elevator of the USS Wasp (CV-7) at Quincy, MA, looking to port from hangar, showing elevator in between decks. June 1940.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.253.2132, Robert L. Lawson photograph collection.

Curtis Tammany
CV-7 Wasp
NS020731b
136k

SB2U-2 Vindicator with Scouting Squadron Seventy-Two (VS-72) pictured sitting on the deck edge elevator of USS Wasp (CV-7) at flight deck level. Picture taken looking up and aft from main deck. Picture taken at Quincy, MA. June 1940.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.253.2140, Robert L. Lawson photograph collection.

Curtis Tammany
CV-7 Wasp
NS020723
82k

A peacetime photo of USS Wasp (CV-7) taken around 1940. Note the hull scuttles, a feature not seen in later designs, and the fuel pipe running along the outer hull plating. Several ship's boats can be made out.

USN photo from "Aircraft Carriers of the U.S. Navy," by Stefan Terzibaschitsch.

Robert Hurst
CV-7 Wasp
NS020711
108k

Postcard showing USS Wasp anchored in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while "dressed" with flags for Navy Day, 27 October 1940. Note the old flush-deck destroyer in the right distance.

Richard Leonhardt
CV-7 Wasp
NS020701
251k Starboard bow, December 27, 1940. Image #80-G-463431. National Archives
World War 2
CV-7 Wasp
NS020713
82k

LT David McCampbell, Landing Signal Officer, bringing in planes, aboard USS Wasp (CV-7) circa late 1941 or early 1942. McCampbell later became the Navy's top-scoring "ace" in World War II. Behind him is the Assistant Landing Signal Officer, Ensign George E. "Doc" Savage. In the catwalk in the lower center are Len Ford (enlisted man) and LT Hawley Russell. Caption details were provided by CAPT David McCampbell, USN (Ret.), in 1982. Official U.S. Navy photo, now in the collection of the National Archives. Image #80-G-K-687(Color).

Bill Gonyo
CV-7 Wasp
NS020712
92k

USS Wasp (CV-7) off the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, on 8 January 1942, following overhaul.

Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives (# 19-N-27320).

Michael Mohl
CV-7 Wasp
NS020714
178k

Two more photos also taken at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, after Wasp's December 1941–January 1942 overhaul. She retained her quadruple 1.1"/75 battery (photo NS020714) but most of her 0.50 machine guns were replaced by 20-mm guns and she received a CXAM-1 air-search radar (photo NS020714a).

David Buell
CV-7 Wasp
NS020714a
117k
CV-7 Wasp
NS020733
77k

Starboard side view and deck plan of USS Wasp (CV-7), January 1942. She is armed with eighteen 5"/38 guns, four quad 1.1", thirty-four 20mm, and nine 0.50"-cal guns. Note her forward arresting wires and two windbreaks (folded down). Provision was made for a LSO to control over-the-bow landings (small starboard platform forward). Note CXAM-1 radar situated on the mast platform.

Drawing and text from U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History, by Norman Friedman.

Robert Hurst
CV-7 Wasp
NS020703
52k Underway in the Atlantic, sometime in March 1942. Note that the hangar catapult outrigger, barely visible in this photo, is folded down. (Thanks to Robert Hurst). USN
Reinforcement of Malta, April & May 1942
CV-7 Wasp
NS020715a
53k

A Spitfire Mk.Vc being loaded aboard USS Wasp (CV-7) at King George V Dock Glasgow, Scotland, in April 1942. Wasp loaded 47 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V fighter planes on 13 April, before she departed the Clyde estuary on the 14th. Her screen consisted of Force "W" of the Home Fleet—a group that included the battlecruiser HMS Renown and antiaircraft cruisers HMS Cairo and HMS Charbydis. U.S. destroyers USS Madison (DD-425) and USS Lang (DD-399) also served in Wasp's screen.

(Trivia: Lang was named after John Lang, a seaman aboard the sloop-of-war Wasp during her engagement with HMS Frolic, 18 October 1812. He was the first man to board the British ship in the closing stage of the action.)

This photo and the one below are from a notebook compiled and written by actor and Naval Reserve officer Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. He was charged with writing this account (the official naval record) of this special mission (Operations Calender and Bowery) by Rear Admiral R. C. Griffin, USN. It deals with Wasp, temporarily detached and loaned to the British Admiralty for the purpose of helping to deliver badly needed aircraft to Malta. Fairbanks served on active duty in the US Navy from April 1941 to February 1946.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo.

Mike Green
CV-7 Wasp
NS020715
122k

A Spitfire Mk.Vc being loaded aboard USS Wasp (CV-7) at Port Glasgow [sic], Scotland, in April 1942, at the start of Operation Calender. Note some F4F Wildcat fighters parked on deck, with their wings folded—Wasp carried twelve Wildcats during the two aircraft ferrying missions she carried out with the Royal Navy to augment the dwindling defenses of Malta (Operation Calender, in April, and Operation Bowery, in May 1942).

However, Charles Mac Kay correctly notes: "The Wasp did not collect the Spitfires from Port Glasgow. They were collected from King George V Dock Glasgow; Port Glasgow is further down the coast. The King George V Dock is beside Renfrew Airport. The Spitfires were taken from Renfrew to the Carrier Wasp at KGV."

Note, as well, that the scrapbook where this photo comes from (see photo above) states that the planes were actually being unloaded at that moment. National Naval Aviation Museum photo.

Robert Hurst
Larger copy submitted by Mike Green
CV-7 Wasp
NS020716
74k

A Spitfire Mk.Vc about to start its take-off run. The aircraft that had taken off ahead of it is visible above its starboard wing. Already the lift is on its way down to the hangar to pick up the next fighter.

USN photo, taken from "Skies of Fire," by Alfred Price.

Robert Hurst
CV-7 Wasp
NS020727
309k

A British Royal Air Force Spitfire V fighter takes off from USS Wasp (CV-7), after a 200-foot run, May 1942. Probably taken during the carrier's second Malta aircraft ferry mission.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-7083).

Robert Hurst
CV-7 Wasp
NS020728
76k

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VC's spotted on the deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) in 1942. Wasp loaded the Royal Air Force Spitfires on 3 May 1942 and ferried them to the Mediterranean Sea. Here they were launched on 9 May 1942 to reinforce the British-held Malta (Operation Bovery). A Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat of Fighter Squadron VF-71 is parked on the left with wings folded. The British carrier HMS Eagle (94) is visible in the background. Both carriers launched 64 Spitfires.

USN photo taken from U.S. Navy Naval Aviation News, 1 October 1945.

Robert Hurst
CV-7 Wasp
NS020717
45k

Official caption from the rear of the photo:

"Neg No. OCR-11886 — U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier Wasp ferries British aircraft to Malta. First photographs showing the carrier en route to the British Mediterranean Stronghold."

"(a) Signalman on the bridge of the Wasp on the alert for any signals from escort ships of approaching enemy ships or planes."

NARA San Francisco. (Photo is dated 3 July 1942, which is obviously wrong, since Wasp ferried aircraft to Malta in April and May, and was already in the Pacific by July. This may be the date the photo was developed, or reprinted, or whatever).

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CV-7 Wasp
NS020718
31k

Official caption from the rear of the photo:

"Neg No. OCR-11890 — U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier Wasp ferries British aircraft to Malta. First photographs showing the carrier en route to the British Mediterranean Stronghold."

"(a) Comdr. Dickey, Executive Officer, Flight Lieut. Sly, RAF, and Lieut Sims, RAF, Engineer Officer interview Pilot Officer S.A. Smith, RAF, and examine his Spitfire after he made a successful landing aboard the USS Wasp. Pilot Smith, shortly after his take-off, developed engine trouble and signaled he was returning for a landing. Although the Spitfire has no arresting gear, Pilot Smith managed to land the high speed fighter on the deck of the carrier without mishap—a remarkable feat of flying and coordination with the ship."

[According to DANFS entry for Wasp, Smith accidentally released his drop tank and lacked the range to make it to Malta.]

NARA San Francisco. (Photo is dated 3 July 1942, which is obviously wrong, since Wasp ferried aircraft to Malta in April and May, and was already in the Pacific by July. This may be the date the photo was developed, or reprinted, or whatever).


Corrections: Wendy Noble, sister of P/O Smith, notes:

(1) "The correct initials for my brother are J.A. (for Jerrold Alpine) whereas you wrote of him as Pilot Officer S.A. Smith." ["S.A." is actually what is written on the back of the photo.]

(2) "You note that Jerry 'accidentally released his drop tank.' [This is what DANFS states.] Actually the problem was that his auxiliary tank failed to draw."

(3) "The question of the date of the landing. According to Jerry's logbook, the date of this event was May 9, 1942."

Additionally, Wendy explains:

"My name is Wendy Noble and Jerry was my eldest brother. He and his younger brother Rod (Sq/L Roderick Illingworth Alpine Smith, DFC & Bar) briefly flew as a pair in Malta, having landed there at different times, until Jerry went missing on August 10, 1942. Rod ended the war an Ace with a score of 13 1/5 shot down, the latter being the sharing of the first Commonwealth downing of an ME 262 German jet fighter. Jerry was born on March 26, 1921, and Rod on March 11, 1922 so they were just short of a year apart in age."

"Sources:"

"1. My source for the [second] point is my brother Rod whom I noticed crossed out a reference in a book he owned, written by another author, which erroneously reported that Jerry's auxiliary tank had 'fallen off.' Rod had penned in 'Failed to draw.' It's a mistake many writers make. After the war Rod graduated from mechanical engineering and then became a lawyer, meticulous about accuracy!"

"2. I have both Rod's and Jerry's log books and was able to easily nail down the date of the landing which was under question beside your photo."

"I have a variety (about 5) of official photos taken that day, and photos and negatives of the landing at different stages, including one of signalman David McCampbell giving his hat to Jerry when he said 'My hat's off to you' by way of congratulating him on the landing. I also have letters from the officers written to my parents. You may know that Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was aboard the Wasp that day and wrote several pages about the landing in his memoirs."

"About 20 years ago Rod went to the States, bearing photos of the landing day, and met with the remarkable David McCampbell who autographed them. Needless to say, I treasure those photographs."

"Rod's unfinished memoirs were taken on by British historian and Aviation writer, Christopher Shores, for Grub Street Publishing, London. Chris added to Rod's considerable body of work where needed, and it was published under the title, The Spitfire Smiths: A Unique Story of Brothers in Arms."

(Thanks to Wendy Noble and Tracy White for the corrections.)

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CV-7 Wasp
NS020718a
41k Wendy Noble
CV-7 Wasp
NS020718b
44k
CV-7 Wasp
NS020718c
47k
CV-7 Wasp
NS020718d
58k
CV-7 Wasp
NS020718e
218k
CV-7 Wasp
NS020726
79k

Rear Admiral Robert C. Giffen, USN (left), Commander, Task Force 99, visits with a British Vice Admiral on board HMS Duke of York, probably at Scapa Flow. Photo is dated 22 April 1942. USS Wasp (CV-7) is in the right background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-21027).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CV-7 Wasp
NS020702
106k

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

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-12240).

NHC
CV-7 Wasp
NS020704
50k Undated, starboard side view, Underway. (Atlantic). USN
CV-7 Wasp
NS020720
108k

USS Wasp (CV-7), starboard bow, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., 3 June 1942. Photo serial 3169(42).

David Buell
CV-7 Wasp
NS020720a
105k

USS Wasp (CV-7), starboard quarter, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., 3 June 1942. Photo serial 3170(42).

CV-7 Wasp
NS020720b
52k

"U.S.S. Wasp, new [40-mm] gun platform, port side near stern." Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., 3 June 1942. Photo serial 3171(42).

Source: San Francisco NARA, "Pearl Harbor Navy Yard General Correspondence Files, 1941-45."

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CV-7 Wasp
NS020706
161k

USS Wasp (CV-7) in port in June 1942, with a motor launch coming alongside. Probably taken in San Diego Harbor, California. Planes on deck, some with wings folded, include SB2U scout bombers and F4F-4 fighters.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-447).

Tracy White (Researcher @ Large) notes: "[The 40-mm gun tub installed during the May–June 1942 refit] does not show in this photo. My guess is that this photo is miss-dated and was shot on the east coast because of this detail."

Scott Dyben
CV-7 Wasp
NS020729
56k

USS Wasp (CV-7).

James comments: "This is the best picture of the 40mm mounting I have seen that shows the mount from above."

James P. Laurora
CV-7 Wasp
NS020708
41k

Wartime photo. Date and place unknown.

Submitted by Clint Wingrove from the collection of his grandfather Joseph L. Wingrove. BM/2c. USN, USS Phoenix CL-46, 1939-45
CV-7 Wasp
NS020732
135k

King Neptune and his party stride down the flight deck of USS Wasp (CV-7) after "arriving" on board for Equator crossing ceremonies, circa July 1942.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-K-811).

Tommy Trampp
CV-7 Wasp
NS020725
288k

Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters and Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers aboard USS Wasp (CV-7), probably in July–September 1942.

Robert Hurst
Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-7 Wasp
NS020721
134k

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 Dauntless 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.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-16864).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CV-7 Wasp
NS020721a
101k

Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighters of Fighting Squadron (VF) 71 launching from the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7), 7 August 1942. U.S. Navy photo.

Robert Hurst
CV-7 Wasp
NS020705
87k

USS Wasp (CV-7) burning and listing after she was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-19, on 15 September 1942, while operating in the Southwestern Pacific in support of forces on Guadalcanal.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-16331).

USN
CV-7 Wasp
NS020705a
85k

USS Wasp (CV-7) burning after receiving two torpedo hits from the Japanese submarine I-19 while steaming well to the southward of Guadalcanal, 15 September 1942.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Curtis Tammany
CV-7 Wasp
NS020710
55k

USS O'Brien (DD-415) is torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-19 during the Guadalcanal Campaign, 15 September 1942. USS Wasp (CV-7), torpedoed a few minutes earlier, is burning in the left distance. O'Brien was hit in the extreme bow, but "whipping" from the torpedo explosion caused serious damage to her hull amidships, leading to her loss on 19 October 1942, while she was en route back to the United States for repairs.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-457818).

NHC
Models
CV-7 Wasp
NS020719
111k

Model of USS Wasp (CV-7), on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. Photos taken on 13 June 2008.

Photos by Judson Phillips
CV-7 Wasp
NS020719a
102k
CV-7 Wasp
NS020719b
132k
CV-7 Wasp
NS020719c
105k

View the USS Wasp (CV-7)
DANFS History entry located on the Hazegray & Underway Web Site.

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date: September 2013 (tentatively)
Place:  
Contact: Mr. Douglas Smith
Address: 10687 North 300 East
Morristown, In. 46161
Phone: 765-763-7298
E-mail: waspcv7@verizon.net
Web site:  
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages by Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
USS Wasp CV-7 Web Port by David McLellan
The First Aircraft Carriers Part Two: The Transitional Carriers: USS Ranger CV-4 and USS Wasp CV-7, an article by Father Steve Dundas

Main
Photo Index
Aircraft Carrier
Photo Index Page

Comments, Suggestions or Image submissions, E-mail Carrier Information
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster

This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
All pages copyright NavSource Naval History

Last update: 24 September 2014