USS Wasp (CV-1937)


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The Ranger had barely been completed and its shortcomings noted when the next class of aircraft carrier was put into production. In real life that was the Yorktown type. The Wasp was built in the middle of that class. For me I expand the Wasp to a class of two and have them follow the Ranger with the Yorktown next in line. With the abrogation of the various naval treaties, the Wasp could be a much bigger ship than originally intended. That will be an amalgamation of the Wasp and Yorktown designs. Lets see what comes out. (I typed this before I did the drawings.)

Well that turned out better than expected. It gives the jump from the 15,000 ton Ranger to the 25,000 ton Wasp a visible presence. A Yorktown hull with Wasp bridge and enlarged funnel give a strong look. I keep the speed reasonable at 30 knots giving a 2 knot advance in each of the keel up carriers. The 30 knot speed was considered enough to operate effectively with the new Washington class battleships. Armour coverage used up a lot of the extra tonnage and gave these ship a much better survivability factor.

In amongst the Escort carrier blurbs, I talk about the US Navy disliking the Royal Navy taking three months to put the little carriers into service. Part of that process and an essential part of the upgrades the Royal Navy does is to overhaul and harden the aviation gas system. Almost all US carriers had this problem. Weak aviation gas systems. Reading about the loss of both the Lexington and Yorktown, a better, hardened, avgas supply system would have saved both of those ships. Even though this problem had been highlighted in those ships, no remedial action was taken in later classes. Though, in thinking about it, BuShips was under the Presidential order during this stage of the war and major redesign work would not have been allowed.

Displacement 25,500 long tons (25,900 t) (full load)
  • As built: 770 ft (234.7 m) (waterline)
  • 824 ft 9 in (251.4 m) (o/a)
  • As built: 83 ft 3 in (25.4 m) (waterline)
  • 109 ft 6 in (33.4 m) (o/a)
Draft 26 ft (7.9 m)
Installed power
Propulsion 4 screws; 4 geared steam turbines
Speed 32.5 knots (60.2 km/h; 37.4 mph)
Range 12,500 nautical miles (23,200 km; 14,400 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement 2,217 officers and men (1941)
Sensors and
processing systems
CXAM radar from 1940[1]
  • 2.54 inches (6.410.2 cm) belt
  • 60 lb protective decks
  • 4 inches (10 cm) bulkheads
  • 4 inch side and 3 inch top round conning tower
  • 4 inch side over steering gear
Aircraft carried 90 aircraft (includes deck park)
Aviation facilities
Notes: USS Wasp
USS Hornet


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