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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Wasp (V)

  • Built in 1813 at Newburyport, MA., by Cross & Merrill
  • Commissioned USS Wasp in 1814, Master Commandant Johnston Blakeley in command
  • Wasp put to sea, 1 May 1814, for a war cruise to the western approaches to the English Channel
  • She captured the bark Neptune, on 2 June; embarked her crew as prisoners; and burned the prize at sea
  • Eleven days later, she took the brig William and burned her as well
  • Five days later Wasp took the armed brig Pallas and scuttled her
  • She took the galiot Henrietta, 23 June, which she gave up to the prisoners she had thus far taken
  • Three days later, she captured and scuttled the ship Orange Boven
  • Wasp came upon the 21-gun sloop-of-war HMS Reindeer west of Plymouth and bringing her to battle defeated Reindeer in a short but intense battle after which she took prisoners on board and set the enemy on fire
  • Enroute to L'Orient, France she took the brig Regulator, 4 July and schooner Jenny two days later
  • Not long thereafter, she entered L'Orient for repairs, provisions, and care for her wounded.
  • Wasp put to sea, 27 August and on her third day underway, she captured the brig Lettice and the next day took the brig Bon Accord
  • Early in the morning of 1 September, she encountered a convoy of 10 ships escorted by the 74-gun ship-of-the-line HMS Armada. The American Sloop-of-War singled out the brig Mary which she took as a prize, carrying off her crew as prisoners and burning her before being run off by Armada
  • That evening, she spied another sail on the horizon and gave chase, catching the brig HMS Avon which she battered into surrender
  • As Wasp began to lower the boat for the prize crew, the lookout sighted first one enemy brig standing toward and then two more forcing her to give up the destruction of Avon
  • Wasp continued her ravages of the British merchant marine encountering and scuttling Three Brothers, 12 September, sinking the brig Bacchus two days later, the eight-gun HMS Atlanta encountered Wasp and also suffered the ignominy of capture
  • Too valuable to destroy, Atlanta was placed under the command of Midshipman Geisinger and was sent home to the United States
  • When Wasp and Atlanta parted company, nothing was ever heard from Wasp again. The last sighting of her was by a Swedish merchantman about three weeks later in October 1814. Wasp apparently sank in a storm.
    Displacement 509 t.
    Length 117'
    Beam 31' 6"
    Depth of Hold 14' 6"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 173
    two long 12-pdrs
    twenty 32-pdr carronades
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Source
    Wasp - Any of numerous winged hymenopterus insects possessing smooth, slender bodies, and an abdomen attached by a narrow stalk. They have well developed wings, biting mouthparts, and often administer painful stings
    Tommy Trampp
    Wasp (V) 25k Sloop-of-war USS Wasp (V), circa 1814. Artist and source unknown. Robert Hurst
    Wasp (V) 57k Engravings of USS Wasp (V) and HMS Reindeer by Abel Bowen, from "The Naval Monument, 1838". Robert Hurst
    Wasp (V) 96k
    Wasp (V) 284k Marines aboard USS Wasp (V) engage HMS Reindeer, June 1814. Copy of a painting by Sergeant John Clymer - 1927 - 1981.
    US National Archives and Records Administration cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 532579. Record group: Record Group 127: Records of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1775 - 9999 (National Archives Identifier: 456). Series: General Photograph File of the U.S. Marine Corps, compiled 1927 - 1981, documenting the period 1775 - 1981 (National Archives Identifier: 532396)
    Painting by American artist, Staff Sgt. John F. Clymer, on display at the U.S. National Museum of the Marine Corps.
    Robert Hurst
    Wasp (V) 102k

    USS Wasp (V)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Web Sites of Interest
    Wikipedia - USS Wasp (1814)
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    Last Updated 4 December 2020