Captain Forrest Sherman, Commander Michael Kernodle, and Lieutenant Commander John Shea aboard USS Wasp, circa 1942, side 1 of photograph

Caption     Captain Forrest Sherman, Commander Michael Kernodle, and Lieutenant Commander John Shea aboard USS Wasp, circa 1942, side 1 of photograph ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseThe Elliott Family
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Wasp (Wasp-class)   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Added By C. Peter Chen
Licensing  used with permission of the owner

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Darren Large says:
4 Oct 2019 04:27:04 AM

Great photo. Is it possible for a higher resolution for this photo? I can't make out any of the faces.
2. Laurice Tatum says:
21 Apr 2021 08:53:14 AM

All who served aboard the USS WASP were great and are honorable patriots. You who remember their sacrifices, honor them through these commentaries. You too are equal in believes and patriotism
My Great Uncle Lieutenant Commander Laurice A. Tatum, served aboard the USS Wasp CV-7, as the Ships Dentist. As a result of Japanese Naval hostile actions he was killed in action. Because of his love for America, sense of duty, faith in his follow seamen. He was inspired to do that which most would not do.

While serving aboard the USS Wasp on 15 September 1942, this aircraft carrier was covering the movement of reinforcements from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal. At which time the ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. My Uncle along with others found themselves trapped in the ships forecastle. Because of flames and exploding munitions he and fellow seamen were cut off from the rest of the ship.

Rather than saving himself by jumping overboard. LTDR Tatum remained in the forecastle providing aid and comfort to the wounded. It has been reported to me that he saved 77 lives by leading those capable of walking though the flames and exploding munitions to safety. After which he returned to those more seriously injured to continue administering first aid and making arraignments for those seamen’s escape.

There are conflicting reports that he went down with the ship. As opposed to a report that the ship remained afloat after the fires had been extinguished. Later he was transported to a Destroyer at which time he passed away from smoke inhalation and other injuries. The WASP subsequently sank. He was buried a sea.

For his "gallant and intrepid conduct," he was awarded the “Silver Star,” posthumously. He was further honored by the Navy naming a Buckley Class Destroyer Escort in his honor. USS Tatum DE789.

I miss not having had known my Great Uncle who give his live that day. However, I do take consolation and solace in having as a child the opportunity to meet one of the sailors he saved. That meeting can at best be described as “serendipitous,” a “divine appointment.” I can justly say that survivor influenced the course and direction of my life.

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