Torpedoed near Guadalcanal
Wasp was dispatched to the Pacific in June 1942 to reinforce U.S. Naval forces there in the wake of the carrier battles of Coral Sea and Midway and in preparation for offensive operations in the Southern Pacific. In early August, she participated in the invasion of Guadalcanal. The remainder of her service life was devoted to the effort to hold that vital island in the face of Japanese attempts to recapture it. On 15 September 1942, while steaming well to the southward of Guadalcanal, USS Wasp was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-19. Uncontrollable gasoline fires forced her abandonment, and she was sunk by torpedoes from an escorting destroyer.