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Location: /Squadron Patches/USN NAVY Squadrons

WWII Patch, USN, VF-71 USS Wasp (CV-7)(CV-18)

WWII Patch, USN, VF-71  USS Wasp (CV-7)(CV-18)

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
USN VF-71
Navy Fighter Squadron 71
USS Wasp
(CV-7)
USS Wasp (CV-18)
Walt Disney Design?
~5 inches


VF-71 (1st) - (Est (VB-7) 1 Jul 1939 ---> VF-71 5 Nov 1940 - 7 Jan 1943) (F4F-3/4)
VF-71 (2nd) - (Est (VGS-18) 15 Oct 1942; VC-18; VF-36; VF-18; VF-7A; VF-71 28 Jul 1948 - Dis 31 Mar 1959) (F8F-1/2/2P, F9F-2, F2H-3)

USS Wasp (CV-7), laid down in 1936, was an aircraft carrier that saw action in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific, until sunk by enemy action in September 1942.
USS Wasp (CV-18) took the place of the previous Wasp in 1943 and served until 1972.


USS WASP (CV-7)
The Wasp was built at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Quincy, Massachusetts.  Her keel was laid down on 1 Apr 1936.  She was launched 4 Apr 1939 and commissioned on 25 Apr 1940.  USS Wasp was at anchor in Grassy Bay, Bermuda on Dec 7 1941.
The Wasp Air Group consisted of:
  Fighting Squadron Seventy One (VF-71) with 18 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats
  Fighting Squadron Seventy Two (VF-72) with 17 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats, 2 Vought SB2U-2  Vindicators and 1 North American SNJ-3
  Scouting Squadron Seventy One (VS-71) with 4 Vought SB2U-1 and 13 SB2U-2 Vindicators and 2 Douglas TBD-1 Devastators
  Scouting Squadron Seventy Two (VS-72) with 18 Vought SB2U-3 Vindicators

USS Wasp was hit by two torpedoes fired from the Japanese submarine I-19 on 15 Sep 1942 while operating off Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands.  The flaming hull was torpedoed and sunk by the U.S. destroyer USS Landsdowne later that day. Her name was struck from the Naval Register on 2 Nov 1942.


Citations For Award of The Navy Cross
ELDRIDGE, JOHN, JR.
(First Award) Citation: The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Eldridge, Jr. (0-061105), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Scouting Plane and Commanding Officer of Scouting Squadron SEVENTY-ONE (VS-71), embarked from the U.S.S. WASP (CV-7), during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on 7 to 8 August 1942. Leading the first dive-bombing attack against hostile positions on the islands of Gavutu and Tanambogo, Lieutenant Commander Eldridge, with cool courage and utter disregard for his own safety, personally destroyed Japanese gun emplacements in front of the Marine Landing Area on Gavutu Island, thereby making possible a successful landing in that area. His proficient skill and timely effectiveness in directing the bombing of enemy gun positions, stores and dugouts, contributed materially to the seizure of the islands and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
CinC Pac Serial 25 (January 16, 1943)
(Second Award) Citation: The President of the United States takes pride in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to John Eldridge, Jr. (0-061105), Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane and Commanding Officer of Fighting Squadron SEVENTY-ONE (VF-71), embarked from the U.S.S. WASP (CV-18), during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area during the period 5 through 14 October 1942. Landing in an early morning flight against a Japanese seaplane base at Rekata Bay, Santa Isabel Island on 5 October, Lieutenant Commander Eldridge launched a vigorous attack, inflicting considerable damage on enemy float planes and anti-aircraft emplacements in spite of extremely adverse weather conditions. Returning to Guadalcanal after being rescued from a forced landing, he led several daring scout-bombing attacks against enemy ships, causing fires and, in one known instance, sinking a Japanese destroyer. His expert airmanship and outstanding devotion to duty contributed materially to the defense of our positions in this area.
ComSoPac, Serial 648 (February 26, 1943)
Born: October 10, 1903 at Buckingham, Virginia
      Home Town: Norfolk, Virginia
Awards: 2@ Navy Crosses (WWII), Purple Heart

FORRER, SAMUEL WHITE
Synopsis: The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Samuel White Forrer, Ensign, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron SEVENTY-ONE (VF-71), embarked from the U.S.S. WASP (CV-7), in action on 7 August 1942, while deployed over the Solomon Islands. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: January 9, 1917 at Harrisonburg, Virginia
      Home Town: Griffin, Georgia

KENTON, ROLAND H.
Synopsis: The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Roland H. Kenton, Ensign, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron SEVENTY-ONE (VF-71), embarked from the U.S.S. WASP (CV-7), on 7 August 1942, and deployed over the Solomon Islands in support of the landing of U.S. Marines on the islands. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: October 28, 1918 at New York, New York
      Home Town: New York, New York
Captain Roland H. Kenton, USNR was assigned to VF-71 on USS Wasp, (CV-7) where he participated in operations in the Atlantic, European, and Pacific Theatres. While in the Mediterranean one of his more unusual missions was to ferry Spitfires to Malta - twice. Wasp then made her fateful cruise to the Pacific, tasked to support the amphibious landing on Guadalcanal. His aircraft was documented as the last off-the-deck at Guadalcanal on September 15, 1942 - the day she was struck by three Japanese torpedoes. With her sinking, he joined VF-5, flying with VMF-121 from Henderson field. Roland was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. In 1943, he returned to the United States where at the war’s end in 1945, was placed in the Navy Reserve force.

William Merideth Hall
Navy Cross Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade William Merideth Hall, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron SEVENTY-ONE (VF-71), attached to the U.S.S. WASP (CV-7), in action against enemy forces in the Solomon Islands, on 27 August 1942. During operations of the United States Naval and Marine Forces in support of the occupation of the Islands, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hall, with utter disregard for his own personal safety in the face of tremendous anti-aircraft fire, pressed home a fearless and determined attack against a hostile four-engined flying boat and shot it down. His gallant initiative and courageous devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: 27-Aug-42      Service: Naval Reserve      Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade      Company: Fighting Squadron 71 (VF-71)      Division: U.S.S. Wasp (CV-7)      Date of birth: 18-Mar-20      Place of Birth: Tupelo, Mississippi      Home of record: Tupelo, Mississippi

Courtney Shands
Courtney Shands graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1927. He retired as a U.S. Navy Rear Admiral.
Navy Cross Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Courtney Shands, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron SEVENTY-ONE (VF-71), attached to the U.S.S. WASP (CV-7), in action against enemy Japanese forces on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 7 August 1942. Leading his fighter squadron in the initial air assault on Japanese positions on the Solomon Islands, Lieutenant Commander Shands' flight destroyed seven enemy fighters and 15 patrol planes. This victory eliminated all local air opposition in the area, thus greatly contributing to the successful occupation of the islands by American ground forces. Lieutenant Commander Shands personally shot down four Japanese fighters and two patrol planes. His outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.      General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)      Action Date: August 7, 1942      Service: Navy      Rank: Lieutenant Commander      Company: Fighting Squadron 71 (VF-71)      Division: U.S.S. Wasp (CV-7)      Date of birth: December 1, 1905      Date of death: November 21, 1968      Place of Birth: Ferguson, Missouri      Home of record: Kirkwood, Missouri

Spencer Downs Wright
Navy Cross Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Spencer Downs Wright, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron SEVENTY-ONE (VF-71), attached to the U.S.S. WASP (CV-7), in leading his section in the initial aerial attack on the Japanese positions in the Solomon Islands on 7 August 1942. Lieutenant Wright's section covered the landing operations on Gavutu and Tanambogo Islands. Attacking a flight of Japanese seaplanes off Gavutu, Lieutenant Wright's section shot down six flying boats, then destroyed a motor launch on the sea. He personally accounted for three of the planes and the boat. Lieutenant Wright then led his fliers in a strafing assault on the enemy shore installations on the two islands, destroying fuel and ammunition dumps, buildings and motor vehicles, and hampering Japanese troop movements, thus paving the way for the landing of the American ground forces and contributing greatly to the successful occupation of the islands. Lieutenant Wright's outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
      General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 314 (May 1943)      Action Date: 7-Aug-42      Service: Nav      Rank: Lieutenan      Company: Fighting Squadron 71 (VF-71      Division: U.S.S. Wasp (CV-7)      Date of birth: 24-May-13      Date of death: 5-May-00      Place of Birth: Newberry, South Carolina      Home of record: Newberry, South Carolina

Price: $175.00 $150.00


Product Code: PatchUSN.071.VF71.ussWasp
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