Another historic WWII aircraft carrier has been located thanks to efforts by the crew of Paul Allen’s R/V Petrel.

The USS Wasp (CV-7) was located 4,200 meters below the surface of the Coral Sea. She was sunk on September 15, 1942 by four Japanese torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-19 while escorting transports of reinforcements to Guadalcanal. Even after the torpedoes set the carrier ablaze, the men aboard showed a reluctance to leave until all remaining crewmates were safe, and only when assured the Wasp had been successfully abandoned did Capt. Forrest P. Sherman leave the burning ship. One hundred and seventy six men perished in the attack of the 2,248 aboard.

The Wasp played a pivotal role on multiple fronts during WWII; providing defensive fighter cover for American army planes landing in Iceland, aiding missions to Malta; a location being hit daily by German and Italian planes, and finally, serving as an escort for the 7th Marine Regiment heading to Guadalcanal as reinforcements. You can read the full story of the discovery of the Wasp in New York Times Magazine, including the “Letter to Jackie” — a letter discovered from one of the lost sailors to his son. Below is a gallery of some of the images of USS Wasp in her final resting place.

 

Conservation & Exploration exploration history Petrel underwater exploration World War II WWII

READING LIST

From Iceland to Guadalcanal: R/V Petrel Discovers Final Resting Place of USS Wasp

By The Editors

The Hunt for the USS Hornet

By The Editors

Ten Unique Images From Paul Allen's Exploration Team

By The Editors

Wreck of Aircraft Carrier USS Lexington Located in Coral Sea After 76 Years

By The Editors

R/V Petrel Explores Imperial Japanese Navy Wrecks in the Surigao Strait

By The Editors

Uncovering The Deepest Ocean Data With Deep Argo

By Greg Johnson