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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:07 am 
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So I've been obsessively tracking down photos of WASP, I want to scratch build her in 1/700. Photo's of her early career are quite few and far between. I've got about 180 photo's in all, the vast majority from 1942. I'm curious about her deck markings 40/41. All pictures from 1942 on, show a plain deck painted with 250N deck stain. Below is a nice find of her commission in April 1940. You can clearly see the yellow(?) stripes on what I presume is a mahogany stained deck. ENTERPRISE had the same going by the beautiful colour shot by LIFE in 1940.
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/686yd63mxga0f79/002%20commission.jpg?dl=0
This picture is without a date. The planes on the deck are P-40 from the 8th Pursuit Group.
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/i1yxpl3svnbh60u/28879473296_fe40354fbb_o.jpg?dl=0
From DANFS:

..Norfolk Navy Yard on 11 October (1940). There, she loaded 24 Curtiss P-40 fighters from the Army Air Corps' 8th Pursuit Group and nine North American O-47A reconnaissance aircraft from the 2d Observation Squadron, as well as her own spares and utility unit Grumman J2F Duck flying boats on the 12th. Proceeding to sea for maneuvering room, Wasp flew off the Army planes in a test designed to compare the take-off runs of standard Navy and Army aircraft. That experiment, the first time that Army planes had flown from a Navy carrier, foreshadowed the use of the ship in the ferry role that she performed so well in World War II.

If this is correct, the photo should be the 12th Oct 1940. You can clearly see the deck stripe but it's two tone. Yellow and gray? White and gray?

Regarding the Measure 1/4 conundrum. I found a great colour shot of LSO David McCampbell, legendary USN ace. The photo said 41/42 which doesn't help much but you can clearly see the island is painted black. It's certainly not Standard Navy Grey and it's too dark to be M12 so that puts this picture in mid 41. Is there a yellow stripe on the deck or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fx0rlf2u2imz5o6/McCampbell-LSO.jpg?dl=0
In this picture, WASP is anchored in Hvalfjorour, Iceland in Sept/Oct 1941. She's in Measure 12 (unmodified!) and you can see the deck stripes in the original format but perhaps gray. I think also that the mahogany deck colour has been replaced with 250N...
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5xowqqiflv6e2f/001%20Iceland%20SB2U_USS_Wasp_CV-7%20%281%29.jpg?dl=0
Also interesting to note that there's no CXAM-1 which according to DANFS was fitted in her March 41 overhaul. I suspect this was fitted in her Dec/Jan overhaul in 41/42.

It's fascinating to study these pictures because there's always a new detail that stands out and sheds a little more light on her short but illustrious career.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:36 pm 
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Your image of LSO McCampbell looks to be from a series of color photos taken in late 1941 or early 1942 according to NHHC. Two similar images are 80-GK-687 and 80-GK-688.

A scanned copy of 80-GK-687 from a color print made from the transparency can be seen here ... http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineL ... k00687.jpg ...

The other image 80-GK-688 (also scanned from a color print) can be seen here ... http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineL ... k00688.jpg ...

Note that the image isn't as dark as the one you have posted. Also, it appears that you can just barely make out her CXAM-1 radar. Her paint scheme appears to be fairly standard for the period.

As for when USS WASP (CV-7) received her CXAM-1 radar; in the memo attached, I came across at NARA, as of 16 October 1941, she had yet to have her radar installed. But, it certainly was installed prior to March 1942. According to DANFS, USS WASP arrived at Norfolk on 20 October 1941 and departed after a few days there (before 1 November). She could have had the CXAM-1 installed at that time or during her overhaul that started in late December 1941 lasting til 14 January 1942.

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:27 am 
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On this evidence, it seems certain that CXAM-1 was fitted in her Jan 42 refit.


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Your image of LSO McCampbell looks to be from a series of color photos taken in late 1941 or early 1942 according to NHHC.


They look similar but after comparing the photos, I don't think they are from the same series. In the picture I posted, McCampbell is wearing different coloured sleeves and the signal paddles are a different design to the picture you posted. I also agree that the CXAM-1 is visible in your photo but it's absent in mine. It's worth bearing in mind that McCampbell joined the WASP in April 1940 and was with the ship until rescued when she went down in Sept 42. Other interesting points in my photo are the searchlight platform which is in it's original layout with 4 x 36" searchlights (reduced to 2 in Jan 42 refit). Another point is the light grey paint on the radar platform, part of the Measure 4 scheme, also absent from your picture. And.... In WASP's original configuration, there was a large over hang on the top of the Navigation Bridge, port side aft (you can see it clearly in the commission photo I posted above) which was removed in the Jan 42 refit. It is missing in your photo. This leads me to believe that your photo is from 42 some time. You can just see the light area of camo on her funnel under the searchlight platform. It may even be from her Pacific service when a large number of other colour photos were taken.

I've also found that some official photos have got their dates incorrect; for example this official photo says this is probably WASP in San Diego in June. This cannot be, as the 40mm sponson, portside aft is missing. This was fitted in the June 42 refit and then she sailed directly to the Pacific due to mounting US carrier losses. It's visible in the lower picture from San Diego. I believe this photo is from April 42 at Scapa Flow, as I have other areal photos with identical planes spotted on the flight deck.
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/67kgkzcuym848jm/Scapa%20Flow%20%281%29.jpeg?dl=0
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7mri5ko4rhgcjgd/001%20USS%20Wasp%20CV-7.jpg?dl=0


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:07 am 
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Nice photos, Charybdis! Early Wasp with her black-tail airwing is one of my long-running projects. I'd especially love to see pictures showing her name written on the flight deck. (I'd expect it would be W A S P at each end, but seeing how Enterprise made due with only the two letters E N, and how Ranger only had R N G R at the stern, it'd be nice to find some confirmation!) I have the feeling that the photos are out there somewhere...
Just imagine all the fascinating details we might find in all the other photos that were no doubt taken, but not chosen for publication because they were a little out of focus or deemed uninteresting for the general public... That series of color photos of the battleships off Hawaii in 1941, for example, I'm sure that wasn't all the photos that were taken...

- Sean F.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:19 am 
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Quote:
I'd especially love to see pictures showing her name written on the flight deck. (I'd expect it would be W A S P at each end, but seeing how Enterprise made due with only the two letters E N, and how Ranger only had R N G R at the stern, it'd be nice to find some confirmation!)


I haven't come across any such pictures but I think it's quite likely she did have the WASP letters at either ends of the flight deck as shown in the builders plans (available to download at HNSA). HORNET CV-8 was completed late 41 and also had for a short while HNT on her deck, although I think the paint was probably white and not yellow. Unless someone turns up with a photo, we'll never know for sure.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:47 am 
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When the Navy officially went to blue stained decks the lettering and lines were a stain to match 5-O Ocean Gray, not white. One area we're still exploring is that "each ocean" was doing camouflage experiments. We have a bit on the Atlantic fleet here and I have some documents for Enterprise in 1941 I need to get posted.

In March of 1940 CINCUS Fleet authorized the painting of one carrier experimentally with gray ramps and to experiment with the fore and aft lines "with the view of cutting down the possible assistance that these lines afford hostile bombers."

In May of 1941 the Bureau of Aeronautics forwarded and a recommendation from CINCUS Fleet to the Bureau of Ships that new construction be painted:
1) One yellow center line stripe, 4 inches wide
2) Two yellow fore and aft stripes, 16 inches wide, twenty feet on each side of the center line.
3) Athwartship yellow lines, 16 inches wide, under the first and ninth arrestor wires "from both bow and stern" (Remember that carriers were designed to also steam backwards and recover aircraft over the bow in case of damage) extending approximately six feet beyond the lines in item 2) above.
4) Abbreviation of the ship's name in 10 foot tall letters, ten feet from the ramp knuckle.

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"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Well I goofed in not looking more closely at the main subject in the image. I was focused on the similarity of the photos. Do you have a source for this photo? There should be a 80-GK number associated with it. Many of the dates provided with photos from WWII are suspect and need research to verify or establish a date. Many dates given are when the photos were turned in, some are labelled as "Rec'd Date".

The photographers onboard USS WASP (CV-7) were quite prolific during her career. I have come across quite a few images (most are B&W of course) that they had taken of ships they sailed with during her career and their surroundings. Her aerial photographers took photos of their ship as well. USS WASP photographers took a series of famous color images of the ships in their convoy on her passage from San Diego to Tongatabu. It appears that her photos and color film (processing of color onboard ships wasn't possible) taken during that trip were turned in at Tongatabu, because no "verified" photos taken by USS WASP after Tongatabu up to her lost seem to exist ... likely going down with the ship.

I can help on a couple of the images you are referring to. This color image, 80-GK-447, of USS WASP (CV-7) erroneously dated as June 1942 at San Diego (the configuration didn't match that date), has been an unknown as to place and date when taken. See first image. I scanned the original 5x7 transparency at NARA. I also, found other images obviously taken at the same time and which seldom get used. Two other overhead aerial views, 80-GK-448 and 449, are generally not used because they are out of focus!! However, another overhead view, 80-GK-451 also a 5x7 transparency, showing USS WASP (CV-7) in company with other ships allowed me to be able to determine the date and place. See second image.

The second image shows USS WASP with the same aircraft deck park as the first image. But more important is the fact that USS NORTH CAROLINA and USS WASHINGTON are BOTH anchored near her. USS WASP and USS WASHINGTON operated together often in early 1942. However, USS NORTH CAROLINA was seldom with either of them during that period. By going through Deck Logs, I found that these three ships were only together from late 24 to early 26 March 1942 at Casco Bay, ME. USS WASP arrived late on 24 March with cruiser and destroyer escorts to meet up with USS WASHINGTON and other units designated to be part of TF 39 (becoming TF 99) that left for the UK early on 26 March 1942, to be temporally part of the Home Fleet.

Hence these photos have to have been taken on 25 March 1942, at Casco Bay just prior to a historic Task Force departure. Whose aircraft was used to take these photos, is an unknown.

Image

Image

In addition, I came across and scanned this image, 80-GK-768 another 5x7 transparency, taken onboard USS WASP at San Diego. Since USS WASP arrived at San Diego on 19 June 1942 and departed on 1 July 1942, this photo was taken during those dates. You should have a pretty good idea of what her deck and markings looked like at that time. This is likely one of the first images taken with color film from the voyage to Tongatabu.

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:17 am 
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Quote:
In May of 1941 the Bureau of Aeronautics forwarded and a recommendation from CINCUS Fleet to the Bureau of Ships that new construction be painted:
1) One yellow center line stripe, 4 inches wide
2) Two yellow fore and aft stripes, 16 inches wide, twenty feet on each side of the center line.
3) Athwartship yellow lines, 16 inches wide, under the first and ninth arrestor wires "from both bow and stern" (Remember that carriers were designed to also steam backwards and recover aircraft over the bow in case of damage) extending approximately six feet beyond the lines in item 2) above.
4) Abbreviation of the ship's name in 10 foot tall letters, ten feet from the ramp knuckle.


Marvelous stuff. So do you think that WASP would have had yellow lines though to Nov 41? The lines are definitely there in the Iceland picture I posted above. However, they seem to be larger than 16 inches in width.

In the article by Michael Vorrasi that you linked, it stated that the yellow stripes were painted over but could still be seen. This could be the case with the 8th Pursuit Group picture I posted above with the two tone stripes but then that would be a bit odd in October 1940 so therefore it that photo should be during the Iceland trip in July 1941. Would make a bit more sense.

Quote:
Hence these photos have to have been taken on 25 March 1942, at Casco Bay


That's great. I was convinced it was Scapa Flow, but the presence on NORTH CAROLINA and WASHINGTON seals it. Lovely photos by the way. I have those pictures but not in color.

On to another picture series...

I found a picture on NHHC dated March 42. I then found other angles of what appears to be the same time due to the way the planes are spotted on the flight deck. There's on image with a few more planes but I still think its from the same time. I would be interesting to know if it's before or after the collision with STACK DD-406 on the 17th March 42.

Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7mp4tojrk2mo9c3/003%20March%2042%20%281%29.jpeg?dl=0
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7sz41cry47u38mb/003%20March%2042%20%281%29.jpg?dl=0
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1sqiyd6ej3m2kyl/003b.jpg?dl=0
Does this one also fit?
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ret5fl0m6jaxgln/003%20March%2042%20%282%29.jpg?dl=0


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:51 pm 
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I have four images of USS WASP (CV-7) "dated March 1942" (no idea if the dates are accurate). Two show her in a port and look to be taken at the same time from different elevation angles. The other two are at sea views.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:07 pm 
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Charybdis wrote:
Marvelous stuff. So do you think that WASP would have had yellow lines though to Nov 41? The lines are definitely there in the Iceland picture I posted above. However, they seem to be larger than 16 inches in width.


Keep in mind that the memo I summarized was for new construction. We often see separate recommendations for new construction versus ships in the fleet, but from what I can remember it was usually early versions of what was going to be ordered for the fleet(s) and this one seems to lag the push for camouflage flight decks by quite a few months. I'll be at archives within the next month or so and if I have time I'll pull the box that would have Wasp's camouflage documents (if there were any specific ones) to see if there is any mention. There are multiple boxes of records are in volume format (arranged chronologically versus by subject) and I won't have time to go through them, but there's about ten arranged by subject so there's a good chance there's something of use there.

Generally what you find is specific directives for the ship or pertinent directives for the "type" of ship or fleet, but nothing like deck logs that list out what was used and what day it was applied, etc.. Often times all you see in shipyard reports is "painted as per current directives."

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"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:11 am 
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Quote:
I have four images of USS WASP (CV-7) "dated March 1942" (no idea if the dates are accurate). Two show her in a port and look to be taken at the same time from different elevation angles. The other two are at sea views.


Would you be able to share these images?

It's interesting to note that in these pictures, the 1.1" gun director forward of the bridge is missing but present at Scapa Flow the following month. This must mean that it was installed in the Norfolk Navy Yard visit on the 21st March after the collision with STACK. Also, I can't clearly make out the 2 x 20mm guns on the Forecastle deck.

Regarding the last image I posted, I have my doubts if this fits with the other three photos. Mainly because the roller doors are arranged differently, as well as the extra planes on the Flight Deck. However, all the planes seem to have the red and white striped tail fins particular to this period.

Quote:
Keep in mind that the memo I summarized was for new construction. We often see separate recommendations for new construction versus ships in the fleet, but from what I can remember it was usually early versions of what was going to be ordered for the fleet(s) and this one seems to lag the push for camouflage flight decks by quite a few months. I'll be at archives within the next month or so and if I have time I'll pull the box that would have Wasp's camouflage documents (if there were any specific ones) to see if there is any mention. There are multiple boxes of records are in volume format (arranged chronologically versus by subject) and I won't have time to go through them, but there's about ten arranged by subject so there's a good chance there's something of use there.

Generally what you find is specific directives for the ship or pertinent directives for the "type" of ship or fleet, but nothing like deck logs that list out what was used and what day it was applied, etc.. Often times all you see in shipyard reports is "painted as per current directives."


Your knowledge and dedication are much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:54 am 
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I didn't finish my message above before hitting submit. I was going to say that most of the images I have from March 1942 duplicate ones you have posted already.

Anyway, these first two images show USS WASP (CV-7) at anchor somewhere. I suspect Hampton Roads or during her travel to the UK, but don't know for sure. The aircraft parking doesn't look like the aerial views at Casco Bay on 25 March 1942. The first one is an aerial as you can see, likely taken by a cruiser seaplane. The second image looks like it was taken at the same time based on the aircraft parking and boats alongside. There wasn't enough info on the caption or identifiable ships in the background to establish a likely date range date.

Image

Image

These two aerial views duplicate some of the ones that you posted. Again there isn't much info to go on, except likely they were taken by aircraft from USS WASP.

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:13 am 
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Thanks for sharing. I think we're getting somewhere with these shots.

According to DANFS, Casco Bay is mentioned twice in 1942.

First, after the Jan 42 overhaul were she went on patrol in the North Atlantic touching on Casco Bay and Argentia, Newfoundland. There are a few shots from Feb '42 with crew shoveling snow off the flight deck. She headed home toward Norfolk on March 16th. She collided with STACK on the 17th and arrived at Norfolk on the 21st March.

During the three days in Norfolk, her 1.1 inch gun director was fitted. Then she sailed for Casco Bay and arrived on 25th March and left the next day for Scapa Flow.

Here's my conclusion.

What I call the Casco Mill Pond photos were taken either in Jan or Feb 1942 on her way to her North Atlantic patrol because in the picture you posted of her portside, the 1.1 inch director is missing. Whereas in the aerial photos there is a stiff breeze over the water, in the color shot, the director can just be made out.
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/umlr7na7s2u6gzm/Casco%20without.png?dl=0
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xngd7sm89ufsg0w/Casco%20zoom.png?dl=0

Further evidence would be this shot of WASHINGTON leaving Casco Bay on the 26th March. The sea state looks very similar to the above picture.
Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3yjvwanp8i7oh6x/USS_Wichita_%28CA-45%29_and_USS_Washington_%28BB-56%29_steam_out_of_Casco_Bay%2C_26_March_1942.jpg?dl=0

I suppose the flaw in thi theory would be if WASP made several visits to Casco Bay. There is a photo of ARKANSAS on Navsource which clains to be at anchor off Portland and taken in Feb.


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