Dear Mr. McCarthy,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 1/1/1939 - 1/1/1949 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that includes muster rolls for Torpedo Squadron Seven-VT-7, OB-U.S.S. Wasp, 12/31/41-11/27/42 and Wasp (CV-7), 4/25/40-11/2/42. These files have been digitized and may be viewed online using the Catalog. Please note that the muster rolls only list enlisted personnel.
We also located World War II War Diaries, Other Operational Records and Histories, ca. 1/1/1942 - ca. 6/1/1946 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that contains the reports USS HUDSON - Rep On Loss of USS WASP and USS SAN FRANCISCO - Act Rep - Torpedoing of WASP, N CAROLINA & O'BRIEN, 9/15/42 (Enc A) (1 End) which are available online. There are also war diaries of the USS Wasp, although none of the diaries of the Wasp are for September 1942. Please keep in mind that the Catalog does not always list files in chronological order, and that some of the linked war diaries are for the USS Wasp (CV-18) rather than the CV-7.
Additionally, we located World War II Action and Operational Reports and World War II War Diaries, 12/7/1941 - 12/31/1945 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that may include reports submitted by or about the USS Wasp, VT 7, and the Guadalcanal campaign. Many of the records in these two series are duplicated in the previously linked digitized World War II War Diaries, Other Operational Records and Histories, ca. 1/1/1942 - ca. 6/1/1946 series, but they may contain some records not included in the digitized series and are only available in paper format.
Next, we located the Logbooks of U.S. Navy Ships and Stations, 1941 - 1983 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that include the deck logs of the USS Wasp (CV-7) from January 1941 through July 1942. We do not have logs for August or September 1942. These were most likely lost when the ship sank. We do have logs for the Laffey (DD-459), Lansdowne (DD-486), Farenholt (DD-491), Lardner (DD-487), and Duncan (DD-485) that were all involved in the rescue operations. These logs have not been digitized and are not available online.
Further, we located the Confidential and Secret General Administrative Files, ca. 1/1943 - ca. 5/1945 for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC) in the Records of Naval Operating Forces (Record Group 313) that includes the file [Enclosures] L11-1/BD ENCLOSURE: USS Wasp (CV7) - Loss in Action - War Damage Report #39. Also from CINCPAC is the Secret and Top Secret General Administrative Files, 2/1/1941 - 12/31/1944 in Record Group 313 that includes 3 files relating to the loss of the USS Wasp. Plus, we located Secret General Administrative Files, 1942 - 1946 for the Commander, South Pacific Area and Force in Record Group 313 that includes 4 files relating to the loss of the USS Wasp and other ships. And we located the Records Relating to Operations, 5/1942 - 12/1943 of the Commander, Air Forces, South Pacific in Record Group 313 that includes information about the Guadalcanal campaign.
In addition, we located the War Damage Reports and Related Records, ca. 1941 - 1947 and the General Correspondence Filed Under Filing Classifications CA/A1-3 To CVL48-49/588, 1940 - 1945 in the Records of the Bureau of Ships (Record Group 19) that includes records concerning the loss of the USS Wasp.
For more information about the non-digitized records listed above, please email the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.
If you have not done so already, you may wish to request a copy of your father’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and medical records of enlisted men of the U.S. Navy who were separated from the service after 1885 and prior to 1958 are located at NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. To request these records, please mail a completed GSA Standard Form 180 to NPRC. When filling out the form, please mark “Genealogy” as the purpose for your order and for the items you are requesting check “Other” and write that you want his entire file. If there is any information requested by the form which you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. Also, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Finally, we searched online and located multiple web pages on the loss of the USS Wasp:
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
[information provided in part by Nate Patch, Subject Matter Expert]