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Forgotten Hero of World War II: Historic Discovery of USS Wasp Resting on Ocean Floor Unveils a Lost Chapter of Bravery and Sacrifice

In a captivating expedition, the research vessel R/V Petrel, operated by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul Allen’s company, Vulcan Inc., has made yet another historic discovery.

Resting silently on the ocean floor, the wreckage of the USS Wasp, an iconic aircraft carrier lost during World War II, has been found. This incredible find sheds light on a forgotten chapter of the war and honors the bravery of those who served aboard the ship.

Illustrious Service

Commissioned in April 1940, the USS Wasp quickly became a symbol of American naval might. This aircraft carrier played a pivotal role in numerous World War II battles, including the Guadalcanal Campaign, where she provided vital air support.

However, her service was tragically cut short when she was struck by torpedoes fired from a Japanese submarine on September 15, 1942. The vessel, ravaged by explosions and fires, sank beneath the waves of the Solomon Sea, taking 176 brave sailors with her.

Wreckage of USS Wasp (CV-7). Photo released by R/V Petrel

The Search for the USS Wasp

Decades later, R/V Petrel embarked on a mission to explore the depths of the Pacific Ocean, using cutting-edge technology to uncover forgotten maritime relics. Its team of experts employed state-of-the-art sonar and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to scour the ocean floor, meticulously combing through vast expanses of underwater terrain. Guided by historical records and eyewitness accounts, the researchers meticulously pieced together the puzzle, narrowing down the search area for the USS Wasp.

The Eureka Moment

After an extensive search, the team aboard R/V Petrel experienced a moment of jubilation as they discovered the remnants of the USS Wasp lying at a depth of over 4,000 meters.

U.S. aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) burning after receiving three torpedo hits from the Japanese submarine I-19 east of the Solomons, September 15 1942

The wreckage, spread across a large area, revealed the ship’s iconic flight deck, hull, and even some of the aircraft that were once deployed from her deck. The discovery provided an awe-inspiring glimpse into the past, allowing historians and the public to reflect on the sacrifices made during this crucial period of history.