I have always contended that submarines are the most dangerous threats to carriers of all types. The sinking of the Wasp happened in 1942 on 15 September. 6 Type 95 torpedoes were fired at the Wasp by the Japanese submarine I-19 as the Wasp was performing escort duties along with the carrier USS Hornet and the battleship USS North Carolina and their escorts. The Wasp manuevered and avoided three of them, but three hit. One of the three that missed hit the USS O'Brien, another hit the North Carolins. Of those that hit the Wasp, one broached and came out of the water and actually struck her above the waterline, the other two below and in the vicinity of some of her magazines and gasoline storage at 14:45 in the afternoon. Within 50 minutes the order to abandon ship was given as all fire fighting equipment that was left was proving ineffetive because of so many secondary explosions from magazines, ordinance and gas bunkers. I took almost an hour to abandon the vessel which was completed at just after 16:00 hours. Although fires continued, the Wasp stayed afloat into the night and was showing no signs of sinking. Finally, at 21:00 hours, over 6 hours after being hit, the Admiral in charge ordered a destroyer, the USS Lansdowne, to sink her. Three more torpedoes were put into her just after 21:00 hours after which she sank. 193 men were killed in the attack, 1,946 were saved. It took a lot to sink a US carrier even in World War II.

johnbr, Jan 15, 2013
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