The Petrel, which sits on the surface, has a crew of 10, who plot the last
Inside the US Navy's policy of leaving its shipwrecks untouched – as they are sailors' hallowed graves – the Willp's hull will remain in the hazy depths .
For nearly a century and a half, the British had controlled the small island of Malta just south of Italy, using its harbor to shelter warships and to project British power throughout the Mediterranean
In April 1942, the USS Wasp arrived to supply a badly needed contingent of dozens of warplanes to the beleaguered Allied forces at Malta, Navy account.
Determined, Churchill asked US President Franklin D. Roosevelt if the Wasp could deliver another good sting; Roosevelt acceded. So, the Wasp set off with another British ship and dozens more fighter planes, arriving in early May back at Malta.
She sank in the Coral Sea
Still, the Wasp's life would be short
After the Battle of Midway, the US needed more help in the Pacific Theater, as Allied forces fought to break out Japanese forces, island by island. The Wasp was ordered to escort and a contingent of transport ships carrying Marine reinforcements to fight in Guadalcanal
On September 15, 1942, a Japanese submarine fired a barrage of torpedoes. Two hit other ships, USS O'Brien and USS North Carolina. A few others found their mark in the Wasp's hull, igniting a massive fire onboard.
Her crew's resolve lives on
The USS Wasp tilts hard after a Japanese torpedo strike set the hull ablaze. ]
"Wasp represented the US Navy at the lowest point after the start of WWII," retired Rear Admiral Samuel Cox, who heads the US Naval History and Heritage Command, said in a statement. "Her pilots and her aircrew, with their courage and sacrifice, were those who held the line against the Japanese when the Japanese had superior fighter aircraft, superior torpedo planes and better torpedoes."
In keeping with a Navy tradition, USS Wasp's spirit lives on its modern name, which now supports naval operations in the Indo-Pacific region.
"We hope this discovery gives survivors and their families some degree of closure," Capt. Colby Howard, who commands the new USS Wasp, said in a statement