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The second USS Wasp of the United States Navy was a sailing sloop of war captured by the British in the early months of the War of 1812. She was constructed in 1806 at the Washington Navy Yardmarker, was commissioned sometime in 1807, Master Commandant John Smith in command.

Service history

Wasp's movements in 1807 and 1808 remain unrecorded; but, by 1809, she was cruising the eastern seaboard of the United States. By the close of 1810, she was operating from the ports of Charleston, South Carolinamarker, and Savannah, Georgiamarker, presumably concentrating on the waters along the southern portion of the country's eastern coast. In 1811, she moved to Hampton Roadsmarker, Virginiamarker, where she and brig joined frigates and in forming a 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 Britainmarker 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 jib boom 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 a 22-gun sloop-of-war, . At half past eleven in the morning of 15 October, Wasp and Frolic closed to do 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, , appeared on the scene, and Frolic's captor became the final prize of the action. 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 served briefly in the Royal Navy as HMS Peacock, but was lost off the Virginia Capes in 1813.

The Wasp Islandsmarker, part of the San Juan Islandsmarker of Washingtonmarker state, were named after the USS Wasp.


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