From the
US Navy Historical Center Archives


USS Langley

CV-1
The US Navy's First Aircraft Carrier


USS Langley, a 11,500-ton aircraft carrier, started life in 1912 as the collier (coaling ship) USS Jupiter. The conversion took place at Newport News starting in 1920, and she was re-commissioned USS Langley CV-1 in March 1922.  Langley was the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier. During the 1920s and early 30s, the "Covered Wagon" was instrumental in both the training of naval aviators and development of carrier aviation tactics. The 30s saw the commissioning of larger, more modern carriers, so Langley was converted to a seaplane tender (AV-3) in 1937.

Expand.gif (1054 bytes)  Sent to the Far East in 1939, she was still there when the Japanese h92472.jpg (75504 bytes)attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Her wartime duties included supporting seaplane patrols and transporting aircraft. While carrying Army fighters to the Netherlands East Indies on 27 February 1942, Langley was attacked by three waves of Japanese aircraft. The first two were unsuccessful, but the third scored five bomb hits. Gasoline-fed fires broke out on the flight deck. She lost steering and took on a 10 degree list. The situation hopeless, Langley was abandoned and escorting destroyers scuttled her with gunfire and torpedoes, another loss in the Battle of Java Sea.

USS Langley
CV-1

Vital Statistics

Re-commissioning:  20 March 1922 as USS Langley CV-1
Displacement
: 11,500 tons
Length: 542' oa, Beam: 65', Draft: 18' 11"

Armament: four 5"/51 caliber
Performance: 15 knot cruising speed
Aircraft: 55 maximum
Complement: 468 officers and men

USS Langley (CV-1)
Expand.gif (1054 bytes)
g185915.jpg (82387 bytes)
At Canal Zone, 1930
g424475.jpg (140512 bytes)
Pearl Harbor, 1928
(great deck view)
h47024.jpg (95136 bytes)
Launching DT-2, 1925
h72927.jpg (99831 bytes)
Very interesting hangar deck view, 1920s
h81279.jpg (78656 bytes)
With USS Somers off San Diego, 1928
langley1.jpg (47261 bytes)
Langley with battleships in background, 1923
h93178.jpg (90920 bytes)
Landing an Aeromarine 39-b, 1922
langley1924.jpg (37637 bytes)
Seaplane Tender (AV-3)
Expand.gif (1054 bytes)
h63547.jpg (50172 bytes)
After conversion to seaplane tender, 1937
lang-av3.jpg (42072 bytes)
Langley at Pearl Harbor, 1938
USS Jupiter (Collier #3)
Expand.gif (1054 bytes)
h81339.jpg (75285 bytes)
Fitting out at Mare Island, 1912
h69825.jpg (95419 bytes)
Mare Island, 1913
h52366.jpg (45166 bytes)
USS Jupiter at Mare Is., 1914
h92199.jpg (59658 bytes)
USS Jupiter prior to WW1

Home copper.jpg (2701 bytes)