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    WASP Welcomes Crewmember from Fallen USS WASP (CV 7)



    Story by Chief Petty Officer Andrew McCord 

    USS WASP (LHD 1)   

    SAN DIEGO – The crew of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) had the honor of welcoming aboard one of the few remaining crewmembers from the eighth USS Wasp (CV 7) who was onboard when the ship was attacked and sunk on September 15, 1942. Sideboys stood at rapt attention and rendered honors as 98-year-old retired Cmdr. James Forrester was assisted through, saluting the entire time.

    “This is amazing… I had no ideas this ship was so big,” said Forrester after he crossed the brow to a resounding round of applause.

    A fire controlman onboard USS Wasp (CV 7) at the time of the attack, Forrester spent more than seven hours in the Coral Sea before he and shipmates were rescued by ships which had sortied to the area following the attack. Despite the tragedy, he continued to serve in the Navy, received his commission, and retired as a commander after more than 30 years of service.

    “It’s important to remember the sacrifices of the past, as they can serve as a model moving forward,” said Matthew Haffernan, the USS Wasp (CV 7) Stinger Club President, who accompanied Forrester during his visit, also noting that there are only four remaining crewmembers from USS Wasp (CV 7). “Events and opportunities like this are also important because it reminds these heroes that people remember them and what they accomplished for their country.”

    During Forrester’s visit, he was given a personal tour of the ship by Wasp Commanding Officer, Capt. Greg Baker, and also had the opportunity to meet with crewmembers.

    “Commander Forrester is an absolute inspiration… he not only survived a ship lost at sea in battle, and served aboard another struck by torpedoes, but he continued to serve his country long after,” said Baker. He also noted the profound ties which bind Wasp to Forrester. “Our Wasp is the tenth ship to carry this great name. Given that 2019 is the year in which USS Wasp (CV 7) was thankfully found – more than 76 years after its sinking - the histories of Cmdr. Forrester and our crew are intrinsically linked, and being able to host his visit allowed us to help him complete a very long, dedicated circle. I could not have been more honored or humbled to be able to meet with someone who is unquestionably a true Navy hero.”

    Wasp departed Sasebo, Japan in August as part of a homeport shift to Norfolk, Va. after serving nearly two years as the Commander, Task Force 76 flagship. For more news from USS Wasp (LHD 1), please visit



    Date Taken: 09.20.2019
    Date Posted: 09.27.2019 19:20
    Story ID: 344451
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US

    Web Views: 350
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