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Old 01-07-2004, 05:54 PM
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USS Wasp, a 27,100-ton Essex class aircraft carrier built at Quincy, Massachusetts, was commissioned on 24 November 1943. She arrived in the Pacific in March 1944 and conducted her first combat operations in May. During June-August, Wasp participated in the Marianas Campaign, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and in strikes elsewhere in the central Pacific. These were followed by support for the September assault on the Palaus, and, in October, by attacks on Okinawa, Formosa and the Philippines, and in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

For the rest of 1944 and into January 1945, Wasp sent her planes against the Japanese in the Philippines, the South China Sea area and as far north as the Ryukyus. In February and March, she supported the Iwo Jima invasion and took part in raids on the Japanese Home Islands. While off Japan on 19 March 1945, Wasp received a bomb hit that caused heavy casualties among her crew, though she remained in action for several more days before steaming to the U.S. for repairs.

Wasp arrived back in the western Pacific in July 1945, in time to participate in the War's final air attacks on Japan. After the enemy capitulated in mid-August, she supported occupation efforts, despite suffering serious typhoon damage to her forward flight deck on 25 August. The carrier returned to the U.S. in October, then transported service personnel home before decommissioning in February 1947.

In mid-1948, Wasp began modernization to permit safer operation of heavier modern aircraft. After recommissioning in September 1951, she joined the Atlantic Fleet. On 26 April 1952, while en route to Gibraltar, Wasp collided with and sank the destroyer minesweeper Hobson, necessitating a return to the U.S. for repairs to her mangled bow. In mid-year, she deployed to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. The ship was redesignated CVA-18 in October. Transferred to the Pacific in September 1953, Wasp deployed twice to Asian waters in 1953-55, received an angled flight deck and "hurricane" bow modernization, then made another western Pacific cruise in 1956.

In November 1956, Wasp became an anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier, with hull number CVS-18, and moved back to the Atlantic in early 1957. For more than a decade and a half, she kept busy on ASW, training and other operations in the Caribbean and Atlantic, visiting Northern Europe and the Mediterranean frequently. During 1965-66, Wasp also served as recovery ship for five manned space flights. The veteran carrier participated in her final exercises in the fall of 1971, then began preparations for inactivation. USS Wasp decommissioned in July 1972 and was sold for scrapping the following May.
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Old 01-07-2004, 05:56 PM
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I gotta find them damn autographs now. It's killing me I forget where I put them damn it
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:01 PM
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MY older brother was a Nut job for naval aviation. He met and spoke with Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. He even signed a painting of him for my brother and we have a picture of him actually signing it. Cool
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Old 01-07-2004, 08:06 PM
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My dad has four years on the Essex class carrier USS Boxer in Korea, Go Navy! Thanks to all of them, then and now. NK
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