USS Wasp (CV-18)

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USS Wasp (1945)
USS Wasp (1945)

Fore River Shipyard

Order 1940
Keel laying March 18, 1942
Launch August 17, 1943
1. Period of service flag
period of service

Nov. 24, 1943-17. Feb. 1947
Sept. 28, 1951-1. July 1972

Whereabouts Scrapped in 1973
Technical specifications
Data at the time of commissioning

27,100  tons l.


265.8 m


45 m


8.8 m


2,600 men


8 boilers, 4 turbines, 4 screws, 150,000 hp


33 knots


16,900 NM at 15 kn

  • 4 × 127mm twin towers
  • 4 × 127 mm single guns
  • 8 × 40 mm quad flak
  • 46 × 20 mm MK


The USS Wasp (CV-18) was one aircraft carrier of the Essex class of the United States Navy . She was the ninth ship that was named after the Wasp . The carrier took part in the Pacific War during the Second World War, after being converted into a submarine fighter carrier in the early 1950s, it operated in the Atlantic and also acted as a recovery ship for various Gemini space flights .


When she was keeled on March 18, 1942 at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy (Massachusetts) , Oriskany was planned as the name . But after the sinking of the old USS Wasp , the ship was designated as the successor on November 13, 1942. It was launched on August 17, 1943, and commissioned on November 24, 1943.

Pacific War

Immediately after commissioning, the carrier was dispatched to the Pacific . On April 4, 1944, the USS Wasp reached Pearl Harbor . After a few training trips she was assigned to the fast carrier task force 58.6 under Vice Admiral Marc Andrew Mitscher . Together with the carriers USS Essex and USS San Jacinto , the USS Wasp set course for Marcus Island and Wake in order to secure it for the planned operation in the Marianas .

After this mission, the US Navy prepared the attack on the Mariana Islands. For this, the USS Wasp was assigned to Einsatzgruppe 58.2, which should take over the invasion of Saipan . In the late afternoon of June 11, 1944, the carriers' pilots launched attacks on Saipan and Tinian , destroying many Japanese aircraft that could not leave their bases. The bombardments of the islands continued for the next three days.

During the following battle in the Philippine Sea , in which the planes of the USS Wasp were also involved in the great " Mariana Turkey Shooting ", their planes sank the Japanese aircraft carrier Hiyō and severely damaged the carriers Ryūhō , Junyō and the Zuikaku and other Japanese ships.

Wasp with other porters in Ulithi Atoll

The USS Wasp was involved in the attack on the Palau Islands in September and in the attacks on Okinawa , Formosa and the Philippines in October . She also played a role in the sea ​​and air battle in the Gulf of Leyte . Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague commanded TaskGroup 38.1 from the USS Wasp . After defeating the Japanese fleet, the USS Wasp stayed in East Asia and its planes flew missions from the China Sea to the Ryukyu Islands in the north.

In February and March 1945, the USS Wasp supported the invasion of Iwojima and attacks on Japan. On March 19, she was bombed and killed several crew members. After the repair work, the ship was able to take part in the last attacks on Japan until Japan surrendered in mid-August .

At the end of August 1945, the USS Wasp got caught in a typhoon that left considerable damage to the forward flight deck. She had to go back to the USA. Then she drove transport missions to bring the American troops back home from the Pacific region. In February 1947, the USS Wasp was decommissioned.

The Cold War period

USS Wasp (CVA-18) 1954 after the SCB-27A rebuild

Between 1948 and 1957, 15 aircraft carriers of the Essex and Ticonderoga classes underwent a complete modernization in terms of ship and weapon technology. The USS Wasp was brought to a dry dock in New York in mid-1948 and converted to the SCB-27A model. This conversion included the installation of stronger hydraulic catapults, the complete conversion of the island, the removal of the closed 12.7 cm L / 38 double mounts from their positions in front of and behind the island and their replacement with open 12.7 cm L / 38 single mounts that were installed on the starboard side below the flight deck edge. Furthermore, the installation of standby rooms under the flight deck and the construction of an escalator from these to the flight deck as well as the general conversion for the use of jet aircraft. In September 1951 the commissioning took place again.

In November 1951, the USS Wasp was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet to take part in minor maneuvers. After a month of inspection in the New York Dock, the course was set again for the Atlantic.

On April 26, 1952, during a maneuver near the Azores in the dark, the USS Wasp collided with the destroyer USS Hobson , which immediately broke up. 176 crew members of the USS Hobson were killed, the USS Wasp was able to take in 61 survivors. The front broken keel bow of the USS Wasp had to be repaired immediately. In just ten days, the ship received the forward keel bow of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet . This was one of the greatest disasters for the US Navy outside of a military conflict.

After this incident, the USS Wasp went to the Atlantic Fleet and visited ports in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe . In October it was assigned a new identifier and became the attack vehicle CVA-18.

USS Wasp (CVS-18) as an anti-submarine carrier 1970

Following her Pacific voyages in 1953, the ship received further modernization measures. The conversion based on the SCB-125 concept essentially comprised the installation of a closed bow and a sloping deck. In 1956 she was back in Pacific waters.

Another reclassification to an anti-submarine carrier led to the new identification CVS-18. The USS Wasp went back to operations in the Atlantic from 1957. In 1965 and 1966 she was a rescue ship for NASA 's Gemini 4 , Gemini 6 , Gemini 7 , Gemini 9 and Gemini 12 space flights .

In the fall of 1971, the USS Wasp took part in a final maneuver and from that point on was prepared for its decommissioning, which took place on July 1, 1972. In May 1973 the ship was sold for scrapping.

See also

Web links

Commons : USS Wasp (CV-18)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files