From the
US Navy Historical Center Archives

USS Langley

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

Vital Statistics

Re-commissioning:  20 March 1922 as USS Langley CV-1
: 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)
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At Canal Zone, 1930
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Pearl Harbor, 1928
(great deck view)
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Launching DT-2, 1925
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Very interesting hangar deck view, 1920s
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With USS Somers off San Diego, 1928
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Langley with battleships in background, 1923
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Landing an Aeromarine 39-b, 1922
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Seaplane Tender (AV-3)
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After conversion to seaplane tender, 1937
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Langley at Pearl Harbor, 1938
USS Jupiter (Collier #3)
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Fitting out at Mare Island, 1912
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Mare Island, 1913
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USS Jupiter at Mare Is., 1914
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USS Jupiter prior to WW1

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