SCHERBAK SHIP MODELS

WASP, US sloop of war, 1807, Wooden sailing ship model kit . Scale 1:300

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Second USS WASP of the United States Navy. She was constructed in 1806 at the Washington Navy Yard and commissioned in 1807 under command of Master Commandant John Smith. Captured by the British in the early months of the War of 1812.

Length on deck          105’7” (32.2 m).

Beam, mld                   30’0”

Beam, max                 30’11”         

Displacement            460 tons

Complement      140 officers and enlisted

Armament      16 x 32 pdr carronades

                         2 x 12 pdr guns

 

Service history

Wasp’s service in 1807 and 1808 remains unrecorded. In 1809, she was cruising the eastern coast of the United States. By the end of 1810, she was operating from the ports of Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, presumably concentrating on the waters along the southern portion of the country's eastern coast. In 1811, she moved to Hampton Roads, Virginia, where she and brigantine Nautilus, joined frigates United States and Congress in squadron commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur.

Wasp continued to operate along the coast of the middle states after the United States went to war with Britain in June 1812. Her single action of that war came in October 1812. On the 13th, she exited the mouth of the Delaware River and, two days later, encountered a heavy gale which carried away her jibboom and washed two crewmen overboard. The following evening, Wasp came upon a squadron of ships and, in spite of the fact that two of their number appeared to be large men-of-war, made for them straight away. She finally caught the enemy convoy the following morning and discovered six merchantmen under the protection of HMS Floric, a standard 18-gun brig sloop of the Cruiser class. At half past eleven in the morning of 15 October, Wasp and Frolic closed for battle, commencing fire at a distance of 50 to 60 yards. In a short, but sharp, fight, both ships sustained heavy damage to masts and rigging, but Wasp prevailed over her adversary by boarding her. Unfortunately for the gallant little ship, a British 74-gun ship of the line, HMS Poictiers appeared on the scene, and Wasp became a British prize. Wasp's commanding officer, Master Commandant Jacob Jones, had to surrender his small ship to the new adversary because he could neither run nor hope to fight such an overwhelming opponent.

Wasp was taken in the Royal Navy as HMS Loup Cervier. In 1813 she was again renamed Peacock but was foundered in August 1814 of the southern coast of USA.

The Wasp Islands, part of the San Juan Islands of Washington state, were named after the USS Wasp.