In naming LHD-1 "Wasp", the Navy honors nine previous ships, dating to the American Revolution, which have borne this illustrious name.
Previous U.S. Navy ships named Wasp include:
- a schooner (1775-1777),
- a sloop of war (1806-1813),
- another schooner (1810-1814),
- a tender sloop (1813-1814),
- a ship-rigged sloop of war (1814),
- an iron-hulled side wheel steamer (1865-1876),
- a steam yacht (1898-1921),
- and the most famous of the nine, two aircraft carriers, CV-7 (1940-1942) and CV-18 (1943-1972).
The eighth Wasp was a 14,700 ton, 741-foot aircraft carrier that earned two battle stars during World War II. Wasp's sterling performance evoked British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's famous quote, "Who said a Wasp couldn't sting twice?"
After shifting to the Pacific theater of operations, CV-7 participated in a number of major engagements before being sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal on September 15, 1942.
Following the loss of CV-7, CV-18, already under construction at the time, became the ninth Wasp. The ship earned eight battle stars for it's World War II service in the Pacific. After 29 years of gallant naval service, CV-18 was decommissioned in 1972.