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This Day in History, September 15th, 2022 – “The End of the U.S.S. Wasp”

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It was just 80 years ago today, September 15, 1942, when the U.S.S. Wasp (CV-7), was hit by three torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-19. The Wasp, built before the war, had an impressive, yet short, career. Initially she served in the Atlantic, taking part in the takeover of Iceland, and helping to transport British aircraft to Malta, twice against the NAZI air and naval blockade.

However, though we were pushing back against the Japanese at Guadalcanal, our Navy was taking a serious beating. So, the Wasp was sent to join our Navy in the Solomons. On this date, she was hit three times by Japanese torpedoes, perhaps the best torpedoes in the war. In fact, I-19 may have had the greatest torpedo spread ever, the Wasp was hit three times, a torpedo hit and damaged the destroyer O’Brien, which would sink about a month later, and another torpedo hit the Battleship North Carolina. These underwater death dealers struck the Wasp so hard that she was a drift, no power, and flames were all about. The impact caused massive gasoline fires which set off many of the ship’s magazines. Sadly, 193 men had died, though the rest managed to be saved. The Wasp sadly could not, and was scuttled by the torpedoes of the destroyer U.S.S. Lansdowne. 80 years ago today, a proud ship slipped beneath the waves.

What was happening yesterday, on September 14th?

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