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United States' CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier

Photos

CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier at Portsmouth, Virginia on January 8, 1942:
United States' CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier at Portsmouth, Virginia on January 8, 1942
US Navy Photo, National Archives #19-N-2732

USS Wasp in Hvalfjord in October 1941:
USS Wasp in Hvalfjord in October 1941
Imperial War Museum, A-5959

USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942:
USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9234

USS Wasp on May 3, 1942:
USS Wasp on May 3, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9483
CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier ferrying Spitfires to Malta on May 9, 1942:
United States' CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier ferrying Spitfires to Malta on May 9, 1942
US Navy Photo, National Archives #80-G-7085

USS Idaho and USS Wasp in Hvalfjord in October 1941:
USS Idaho and USS Wasp in Hvalfjord in October 1941
Imperial War Museum, A-5951

USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942:
USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9235

USS Wasp on May 3, 1942:
USS Wasp on May 3, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9489
CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier ferrying Spitfires to Malta in May 1942:
United States' CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier ferrying Spitfires to Malta in May 1942
US Navy Photo, National Archives, #80-G-7083

USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942:
USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9231

USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942:
USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9236
USS Wasp in Hvalfjord in October 1941:
USS Wasp in Hvalfjord in October 1941
Imperial War Museum, A-5952

USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942:
USS Wasp off the HMS Edinburgh in the Atlantic on April 4, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9232

USS Wasp off the HMS Victorious on May 3, 1942:
USS Wasp off the HMS Victorious on May 3, 1942
Imperial War Museum, A-9471

Design

There was 14,700 / 15,0006 tons remaining in the naval treaties that could be used for an aircraft carrier and that was too light for a Yorktown class but more advanced features than the Ranger's was desired.2,3,5,6 The CV-7 USS Wasp's hull was similar to the Ranger's and the island similar to the Yorktown class.1

Initially there were no torpedo aircraft but once World War II started for the United States a small torpedo squadron was included.2

Engines

To save on weight engines with lower power ratings were installed.6

Hull

The hull was asymmetrical to help keep the Wasp light and to offset the weight of the island.2,3

The engines rooms were separated by the boiler rooms.2

There was compartmentalization to help in a torpedo hit, but no belt was added.2,3,6

Flight Deck

The flight deck had two catapults.2,3,6

There were three elevators installed on the Wasp, with one of them being located on the edge of the flight deck.2,6

Hangar Deck

The hangar was 500' x 75' x 17' 2".6

There were catapults on each end of the hangar deck.2,3,6

Ships

CV-7 USS Wasp

  • Manufacturer: Bethlehem6, Bethlehem Quincy1
  • April 1, 1936: Laid down.6
  • April 4, 1939: Launched.1,3,4,6
  • April 19402, April 25, 19403,6, April 19415: Completed.2,3,5,6
  • 1941: Four 1.1" quad mounts and 16 0.5" machine guns installed.6
  • August 1941: Ferried P-40s to Iceland.2
  • January 1942: 34 20 mm guns added.2 Six .50 cal machine guns left installed.2 CXAM-1 radar installed.2
  • March 1942: Joined British Home Fleet.2
  • March - May 1942: Ferried ~100 Spitfires to Malta.6
  • March 1942: Ferry Spitfires to Malta.5
  • April 1942: Ferried 47 Spitfires2 to Malta.1,2
  • May 1942: Ferried 47 Spitfires aircraft to Malta.2
  • Mid 1942: 0.5" machine guns replaced by 20 20 mm guns.6
  • June 1942: Joined Pacific Fleet.2,6
  • August 1942: Guadalcanal1,2,5
  • September 15, 1942: Sunk.1,3,4,5,6

Usage

Escort

On September 5, 1942 / September 15, 19424,5,6 the USS Wasp was escorting the 7th Marine Regiment to Guadalcanal when the I-19 hit it with three torpedoes.2,4,5,6 Fires quickly spread as the Wasp was in the middle of refueling aircraft.2,5,6 The Wasp was abandoned within 35 minutes with a loss of 193 men.2 The USS Landsdowne sunk her with torpedoes.6

 

Specifications

  USS Wasp
Crew 1,8001, 1,8896, 2,1673,4, 2,2472, 2,3675
Crew - 1942 2,1676
Displacement 14,700 tons1,2,3,4,5,6
Displacement - Loaded 18,450 tons3,4, 18,500 tons6, 20,500 tons5
Physical Characteristics  
Length 720'3,4, 741' 3"1,5,6, 749'2
219.45 m3, 225.93 m5,6
Length - Water Line 688'1,6, 690'3
209.7 m6, 210.31 m3
Beam 80' 9"1,5,6, 81'2, 81' 7"3, 100'4
24.6 m3, 24.61 m5,6
Draft / Height 20'1,2,6, 28'5
6.1 m6, 8.53 m5
Draft / Height - Maximum 23'4, 23' 3"3, 24' 6"6
7.08 m3, 7.47 m6
Flight Deck 727' 6" x 93'6
221.74 m x 28.35 m6
Performance  
Speed 29.5 knots1,2,3,4,5,6
Range at 15 knots 12,000 nautical miles2,6, 12,500 nautical miles3
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5"1,6, 5" L/382,3,4: 81,2,3,4,6
1.1" quadruple: 42,3
1.1": 164
0.5" machine gun: 243,4
Anti-Aircraft - 1942 5" / 127 mm: 85
1.1" / 27.94 mm quadruple mount: 45
20 mm: 305
Aircraft 763,4, 841,6
Aircraft - 1942 Fighters: 273, 295, 322
Dive Bombers: 365, 373, 282
Torpedo: 102, 123, 155
Armor  
Main Deck 1.5"5
38 mm5
Lower Deck 1.5"5
38 mm5
hangar Deck 1.25"2,3,4
Bulkheads 3.5"2
Belt 0.625"3, 0.667"4, 4"5
102 mm5
Engines  
Boilers Yarrow3,4,6: 63,4,6
Shafts 21,3,4,5,6
Turbines Geared1, Geared Steam5, Parsons Geared2,4,6
HP 70,0003,4,6, 75,0001,5
Oil 1,602 tons3,4, 2,400 tons6
Aviation Fuel 162,000 gallons3

Sources:

  1. US Warships of World War 2, Paul H. Silverstone, 1965
  2. US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1922-45 Prewar Class, Mark Stille, 2005
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  6. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site