My last column reported the sinking by a Japanese submarine of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp on Sept. 15, 1942. Marine Capt. John W. Kennedy Jr., who three months before that had relieved me as commanding officer of the Marine detachment on Wasp, had gone down with the ship.
During World War II, capital ships, such as aircraft carriers and battleships, included in their crews a Marine detachment carrying three officers and about 82 enlisted men. Their principal functions were to provide the ship’s guards, man 5-inch guns and provide landing parties when needed.