Langley II CVL-27Langley II CVL-27 - History

Langley II CVL-27Langley II CVL-27 - History

Langley II
(CVL~27: dp. 11,000, 1. 622'6", b. 71'6", ew. 109'2";

dr. 26'; s. 31 k.;cpl. 1,569; a. 26 40mm., dct 45; cl.
Independence)

Langley (CVL-27), originally named Fargo (CL-85), was laid down as Crown~en Point (CV-27) by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., 11 April 1942; renamed Langley 13 November 1942; launched 22 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Harry L. Hopkins, wife of the Special Assistant to President Roosevelt; reclassified CVL-27, 15 July 1943; and commissioned 31 August 1943, Capt. NV. M. Dillon in command.

After shakedovn in the Caribbean, Langley departed Philadelphia 6 December 1943 for Pearl Harbor, where she participated in training operations. On 19 January she sailed with Rear Adm. Mare Mitscher's Task Force 58 for the attack on the Marshall Islands. From 29 January to 6 February the carrier's air group conducted raids on Wotje and Taora to support Allied landings at Kwa.julein, and repeated the performance 10 through 28 Februray at Eniwetok. After a brief respite at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands, Langley hit Japanese positions on Palau, Yap, and Woleai, Caroline Islands, from 30 Marth to 1 April. She next proceeded to New Guinea to take part in the capture of Hollandia 25 April. A mere 4 cars later, the tireless carrier engaged in the 2-day strike against the Japanese bastion Truk rendering the formidable naval base almost useless to the "Sons of Nippon." During the raid, Langley and her aircraft act ounted for Rome 35 enemy planes destroyed or damaged, while losing only one aircraft herself.

Langley next departed Majuro Atoll 7 June for the Marianas campaign. On 11 June, Admiral Mitscher's carrier groups took over from the land-based Army Air Force bombers. At 1300 the Task force launched a strike of 208 fighters and eight torpedo-bombers against enemy planes and airfields on Saipan and Tinian. From 11 June to 8 August the battle raged for control of the Marianas. The Allied assault on the key to Japan's inner defenses 15 June forced the enemy to engage our fleet for the first time since Midway. During the 2-day Battle of the Philippine Sea, 10 to 20 June, the enemy suffered such
serious losses that he was not able to again seriously challenge U.S. seapower until the invasion of Leyte. When Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa retreated with his battered Mobile Fleet, he was minus 428 aircraft and three carriers. Langley had added her strength to break this Japanese effort to reinforce the Marianas.

The carrier departed Eniwetok 29 August and sortied with Task Force 38, under the command of Adm. William F. Halsey for air assaults on Peleliu and airfields in the Philippines as the preliminary steps in the invasion of the Palaus 15 to 20 September. During October she was off Formosa and the Pescardores Islands attached to Vice Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Force. Later in the month, as the Navy carried General MacArthur back to the Philippines, Langley was with Rear Admiral Sherman's Task Group protecting the Leyte beachheads. In a desperate effort to parry this deadly thrust into her inner defenses Japan struck back with her entire fleet. On 24 October Langley's planes helped to blunt the first and most powerful prong of this counteroffensive, Admiral Kurita's Center Force, as it steamed toward the San Bernardino Strait and the American beachhead. The following day, upon word of Japanese carriers north of Leyte, she raced to intercept. In the ensuing battle off Cape Engano, Mitscher's force pulverized the enemy fleet. The Japanese lost four carriers, two battleships four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and five destroyers. Langley's aircraft had assisted in the destruction of the carriers Zuiho and Zuikoku, the latter being the only remaining carrier of the six that had participated in the Pearl Harbor attack. Japan's chances for final victory had been reduced to nil by the great Battle of Leyte Gulf.

During November Langley was lending her support to the Philippine landings and striking the Manila Bay area, Japanese reinforcement convoys, and Luson airfields in the Cap Engafio area. On 1 December the flattop withdrew to Ulithi for reprovisioning.

During January 1945 Langley participated in the daring raid into the South China Sea supporting Lingayen Gulf operations. Raids were made against Formosa, Indo" China, and the China coast from 30 December 1944 to 25 January l945. The thrust into this area, which the enemy had considered a private lake, netted a staggering number of Japanese ships, aircraft, supplies, and destroyed installations.

Langley next joined in the sweeps against Tokyo and Nansei Shoto in support of the conquest and occupation of Iwo Jima 10 February to 18 March. She next raided airfields on the Japanese homeland, and arrived off Okinawa 23 March. Until 11 May, the ship divided her attention between the Okinawa invasion and strikes on Kyushu, Japan, in an effort to knock out kamikaze bases in southern Japan which were launching desperate and deadly attacks.

After touching Ulithi and Pearl Harbor, she steamed to San Francisco, arriving 3 June for repairs and modernization. She departed 1 August for the forward area, and reached Pearl Harbor 8 August. While there, word arrived that hostilities had ended. She completed two "Magic Carpet" voyages to the Pacific, and got underway 1 October for Philadelphia. She departed from that port 15 November for the first of two trips to Europe transporting Army troops returning home from that theater. She returned to Philadelphia 6 January 1946 and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group, 31 May. She decommissioned 11 February 1947, and was transferred to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program 8 January 1951. In French service she was renamed La Fayette (R-96). The carrier was returned to the United States 20 March 1963 and sold to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., for scrapping.

Langley received nine battle stars for World War II service.
.


USS Langley (CVL-27)

USS Langley (CVL-27) was an 11,000-ton Independence-class aircraft carrier that served the United States Navy from 1943 to 1947, and French Navy as the La Fayette from 1951 to 1963. Named for Samuel Pierpont Langley, American scientist and aviation pioneer, Langley received nine battle stars for World War II service. CVL-27 carried on the name and tradition of USS Langley (CV-1)(and was assigned hull classification symbol AV-3 on 11 April), the first US Navy aircraft carrier, which had been sunk on 27 Feb 1942.


Langley II CVL-27Langley II CVL-27 - History

"OUR TURKEY'S ROOST"

MAAM-SIM's "PROJECT TBM" will include the USS Langley, CVL-27, the light carrier from which #4 sortied against Japanese targets.

Michael Davis , an aircraft carrier aficionado who built a sterling reputation as an aircraft designer at Alphasim, will be recreating this ship as part of the Avenger package. You will be able to try your hand at taking off and landing the largest carrier aircraft of WWII on one of the smallest flight decks from which her heroic crews operated. Michael is a fast worker, and here is a screenshot of the carrier sailing in FS2004.

Did I make you do a double-take? Actually, this is a photo taken of a scale model of one of the Langley's sister-ships, the Belleau Wood, CVL-24, sailing on the 'Pacific Ocean' at last year's MAAM's World War II Weekend Show. But we bet Michael's model will look this good.

Below are some fascinating wartime photos of the real CVL-27 Langley, the second carrier so named. Her predecessor was the very first carrier of the U.S. Navy, CV-1, converted from a collier, the USS Jupiter, in 1922.

Following the photos are several links to history articles on the ship and her sister-ships, the Independence class of "small aircraft carriers", more popularly known as "light carriers".


photo courtesy and copyright of The USS Langley CVL-27 Association


USS Langley (CVL-27)

Underway off Cape Henry, Virginia, (36 55'N 75 45'W) with two SNJ training planes on her flight deck, 6 October 1943. Photographed by a blimp of squadron ZP-14, out of NAS Weeksville, N.C. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


USS LANGLEY, CVL-27


USS Langley (CVL-27)

At anchor in harbor, February 1944. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


USS Langley (CVL-27)

Lieutenant Commander Edward C. Outlaw, Commander Fighting Squadron 32 and Air Group 32, with other VF-32 pilots in flight quarters after a sweep over Truk, 29 April 1944. Note steward serving drinks, status boards on the bulkhead and ventilator on the overhead. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. (This was our TBM's Squadron)


LANGLEY FIGHTER ACES, APRIL 29, 1944

The photo caption reads, "Pilots of F6Fs who shot down 21 Japanese planes in less than 15 minutes over Truk Atoll aboard the Langley."


USS Langley (CVL-27)

Anchored in Ulithi harbor, Caroline Islands, on 31 October 1944, following the Battle of Leyte Gulf. USS Hornet (CV-12) and many other ships are in the background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


USS Langley (CVL-27)

An F6F "Hellcat" fighter landing "high" during flight operations in the vicinity of the Nansei Shoto, 10 October 1944. Task Force 38 carriers hit Japanese targets in the Okinawa area on that day. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


USS Langley (CVL-27)

Scene on the flight deck, looking forward, as the carrier shoots down a Japanese plane during air attacks on Task Force 38 off Formosa, 14 October 1944. The falling plane is visible directly ahead of the ship. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


Task Group 38.3

Enters Ulithi anchorage in column, 12 December 1944, while returning from strikes on targets in the Philippines.
Ships are (from front): Langley (CVL-27) Ticonderoga (CV-14) Washington (BB-56) North Carolina (BB-55) South Dakota (BB-57) Santa Fe (CL-60) Biloxi (CL-80) Mobile (CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


Task Group 38.3

Makes a simultaneous turn to port from column formation, while entering Ulithi anchorage on 12 December 1944 after strikes against the Japanese in the Philippines. Ships are (from front): Langley (CVL-27) Ticonderoga (CV-14) Washington (BB-56) North Carolina (BB-55) South Dakota (BB-57) Santa Fe (CL-60) Biloxi (CL-80) Mobile (CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


THE LANGLEY IN THE MIDST OF THE GREAT TYPHOON OF DECEMBER, 1944.

Why are these sailors smiling? Perhaps they are happy not to be in the gun tub under the stacks - or wherever the crazy photographer is standing! M.D. "Pat" Donavan, who was a VT44 pilot, wrote "We called it the Christmas Typhoon and a lot of Christmas mail and packages were lost when the Hull, Spence, and Monahan, three DDs, capsized and were lost with all hands. As I recall, only the ships officers knew that the Langley was designed to take a 35 degree roll and actually went to 38. Fortunately the word didn't get around to the air group."

Here's what she looked like from the outside.


USS Langley (CVL-27)

Rolling sharply as she rides out a Pacific storm. Photographed from USS Essex (CV-9). The original photograph is dated 13 January 1945, but Morison, "History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II", Vol. 13, captions this view as having been taken during the "Great Typhoon" of 18 December 1944.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


USS Langley (CVL-27)

Underway with a task force in the Pacific, 27 March 1945. Photographed from USS McCord (DD-534). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.



photo courtesy and copyright of The USS Langley CVL-27 Association


TBM-3 OVER THE USS LANGLEY, AT SEA BETWEEN PEARL HARBOR AND THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE, OCT 1945


CAPT. WALLACE (GOTCH) DILLON, COMMANDING OFFICER

The symbols painted on the side of the island represent 48 enemy aircraft shot down, 22 bombing missions, 3 warships and 8 merchant ships sunk, and 63 aircraft destroyed on the ground.

Click on the title above to read this article on the Langley Association website.

Click on the title above to read this history from the Naval Historical Center website.

Click on the title above to read this history from the Naval Historical Center website.


USS Langley (CVL 27)

Decommissioned 11 February 1947.
Transferred to France on 8 Jan 1951, renamed Lafayette (R-96) and commissioned into the French Navy on 2 June 1951.
Returned to the U.S.N. in March 1963.
Stricken 20 March 1963.
Scrapped at Baltimore in 1964.

Commands listed for USS Langley (CVL 27)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Wallace Myron Dillon, USN15 Jul 194327 Sep 1944
2T/Capt. John Fred Wegforth, USN27 Sep 194410 Aug 1945
3T/Capt. Herbert Edward Regan, USN10 Aug 194515 Jan 1946

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Media links


USS Langley (CVL-27)

Samuel Pierpont Langley, born August 1834 in Roxbury, Mass., became a distinguished American astronomer, physicist, and pioneer in the development of heavier-than-air craft. In 1865 he was assistant in the Harvard Observatory, and the following hear an assistant professor of mathematics at the Naval Academy. In 1887, as director of the Allegheny Observatory, he devised the bolometer and other scientific apparatus. In 1881 he organized a successful expedition to Mount Whitney, Calf. Professor Langley was honored by degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, among other universities. He died 27 February 1906 in Aiken, S.C.

Langley (CVL-27), originally named Fargo (CL-85), was laid down as Crown Point (CV-27) by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., 11 April 1942 renamed Langley 13 November 1942 launched 22 May 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Harry L. Hopkins, wife of the Special Assistant to President Roosevelt reclassified CVL-27, 15 July 1943 and commissioned 31 August 1943, Capt. W. M. Dillon in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Langley departed Philadelphia 6 December 1943 for Pearl Harbor, where she participated in training operations. On 19 January 1944, she sailed with Rear Adm. Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58 for the attack on the Marshall Islands. From 29 January to 6 February, the carrier's air group conducted raids on Wotje and Taora to support Allied landings at Kwajalein, and repeated the performance 10 through 28 February at Eniwetok. After a brief respite at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands, Langley hit Japanese positions on Palau, Yap, and Woleai, Caroline Islands, from 30 March to 1 April. She next proceeded to New Guinea to take part in the capture of Hollandia, 25 April. A mere 4 days later, the tireless carrier engaged in the 2-day strike against the Japanese bastion Truk, rendering the formidable naval base almost useless to the "Sons of Nippon." During the raid, Langley and her aircraft accounted for some 35 enemy planes destroyed or damaged, while losing only one aircraft herself.

Langley next departed Majuro Atoll 7 June for the Marianas campaign. On 11 June, Admiral Mitscher's carrier groups took over from the land-based Army Air Force bombers. At 1300, the Task Force launched a strike of 208 fighters and eight torpedo-bombers against enemy bases and airfields on Saipan and Tinian. From 11 June to 8 August, the battle raged for control of the Marianas. The Allied assault on the key to Japan's inner defenses, 15 June, forced the enemy to engage our fleet for the first time since Midway. During the 2-day Battle of the Philippine Sea, 19 to 20 June, the enemy suffered such serious losses that he was not able to again seriously challenge U.S. seapower until the invasion of Leyte. When Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa retreated with his battered Mobile Fleet, he was minus 426 aircraft and three carriers. Langley had added her strength to break this Japanese effort to reinforce the Marianas.

The carrier departed Eniwetok 29 August, and sortied with Task Force 38, under the command of Adm. William F. Halsey for air assaults on Peleliu and airfields in the Philippines as the preliminary steps in the invasion of the Palaus 15 to 20 September. During October, she was off Formosa and the Pescadores Islands attached to Vice Admiral Mitscher's Fast Carrier Force. Later in the month, as the Navy carried General MacArthur back to the Philippines, Langley was with Rear Admiral Sherman's Task Group protecting the Leyte beachheads. In a desperate effort to parry this deadly thrust into her inner defenses, Japan struck back with her entire fleet. On 24 October, Langley's planes helped to blunt the first and most powerful prong of this counteroffensive, Admiral Kurita's Center Force, as it steamed toward the San Bernardino Strait and the American beachhead. The following day, upon word of Japanese carriers north of Leyte, she raced to intercept. In the ensuing battle off Cape Engano, Mitscher's force pulverized the enemy fleet. The Japanese lost four carriers, two battleships, four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and five destroyers. Langley's aircraft had assisted in the destruction of the carriers Zuiho and Zuikaku, the latter being the only remaining carrier of the six that had participated in the Pearl Harbor attack. Japan's chances for final victory had been reduced to nil by the great Battle of Leyte Gulf.

During November, Langley was lending her support to the Philippine landings and striking the Manila Bay area, Japanese reinforcement convoys, and Luzon airfields in the Cap Engano area. On 1 December, the flattop withdrew to Ulithi for reprovisioning.

During January 1945, Langley participated in the daring raid into the South China Sea supporting Lingayen Gulf operations. Raids were made against Formosa, Indo-China, and the China coast from 30 December 1944 to 25 January l945. The thrust into this area, which the enemy had considered a private lake, netted a staggering number of Japanese ships, aircraft, supplies, and destroyed installations.

Langley next joined in the sweeps against Tokyo and Nansei Shoto in support of the conquest and occupation of Iwo Jima, 10 February to 18 March. She next raided airfields on the Japanese homeland, and arrived off Okinawa 23 March. Until 11 May, the ship divided her attention between the Okinawa invasion and strikes on Kyushu, Japan, in an effort to knock out kamikaze bases in southern Japan which were launching desperate and deadly attacks.

After touching Ulithi and Pearl Harbor, she steamed to San Francisco, arriving 3 June for repairs and modernization. She departed 1 August for the forward area, and reached Pearl Harbor 8 August. While there, word arrived that hostilities had ended. She completed two "Magic Carpet" voyages to the Pacific, and got underway 1 October for Philadelphia. She departed from that port 15 November for the first of two trips to Europe, transporting Army troops returning home from that theater. She returned to Philadelphia 6 January 1946 and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group, 31 May. She decommissioned 11 February 1947, and was transferred to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, 8 January 1951. In French service she was renamed Lafayette (R-96). The carrier was returned to the United States 20 March 1963 and sold to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., for scrapping.


Langley II CVL-27Langley II CVL-27 - History

USS Langley (CVL 27), originally named Fargo (CL 85), was laid down as Crown Point (CV 27) by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., April 11, 1942 renamed Langley November 13 launched May 22, 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Harry L. Hopkins, wife of the Special Assistant to President Roosevelt reclassified CVL 27, July 15, 1943 and commissioned August 31, 1943, Capt. W. M. Dillon in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Langley departed Philadelphia December 6th for Pearl Harbor, where she participated in training operations. On January 19, 1944, she sailed with Rear Adm. Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58 for the attack on the Marshall Islands. From January 29 to February 6, the carrier's air group conducted raids on Wotje and Taora to support Allied landings at Kwajalein, and repeated the performance February 10-28th at Eniwetok.

After a brief respite at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands, Langley hit Japanese positions on Palau, Yap, and Woleai, Caroline Islands, from March 30 to April 1, 1944. She next proceeded to New Guinea to take part in the capture of Hollandia, April 25. A mere four days later, the tireless carrier engaged in the two-day strike against the Japanese bastion Truk, rendering the formidable naval base almost useless to the "Sons of Nippon." During the raid, USS Langley and her aircraft accounted for some 35 enemy planes destroyed or damaged, while losing only one aircraft herself.

USS Langley (CVL 27) next departed Majuro Atoll June 7 for the Marianas campaign. On June 11, 1944, Adm. Mitscher's carrier groups took over from the land-based Army Air Force bombers. At 1300, the Task Force launched a strike of 208 fighters and eight torpedo-bombers against enemy bases and airfields on Saipan and Tinian. From June 11, to August 8, the battle raged for control of the Marianas. The Allied assault on the key to Japan's inner defenses, June 15, forced the enemy to engage our fleet for the first time since Midway. During the two-day Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 19-20, 1944, the enemy suffered such serious losses that he was not able to again seriously challenge U.S. seapower until the invasion of Leyte. When Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa retreated with his battered Mobile Fleet, he was minus 426 aircraft and three carriers. USS Langley had added her strength to break this Japanese effort to reinforce the Marianas.

The carrier departed Eniwetok August 29, 1944, and sortied with Task Force 38, under the command of Adm. William F. Halsey for air assaults on Peleliu and airfields in the Philippines as the preliminary steps in the invasion of the Palaus September 15-20th. During October, she was off Formosa and the Pescadores Islands attached to Vice Adm. Mitscher's Fast Carrier Force. Later in the month, as the Navy carried Gen. MacArthur back to the Philippines, Langley was with Rear Adm. Sherman's Task Group protecting the Leyte beachheads.

In a desperate effort to parry this deadly thrust into her inner defenses, Japan struck back with her entire fleet. On October 24, 1944, Langley's planes helped to blunt the first and most powerful prong of this counteroffensive, Adm. Kurita's Center Force, as it steamed toward the San Bernardino Strait and the American beachhead. The following day, upon word of Japanese carriers north of Leyte, she raced to intercept. In the ensuing battle off Cape Engano, Mitscher's force pulverized the enemy fleet. The Japanese lost four carriers, two battleships, four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and five destroyers.

Langley's aircraft had assisted in the destruction of the carriers Zuiho and Zuikaku, the latter being the only remaining carrier of the six that had participated in the Pearl Harbor attack. Japan's chances for final victory had been reduced to nil by the great Battle of Leyte Gulf.

During November, USS Langley (CVL 27) was lending her support to the Philippine landings and striking the Manila Bay area, Japanese reinforcement convoys, and Luzon airfields in the Cape Engano area. On December 1, 1944, the flattop withdrew to Ulithi for reprovisioning.

During January 1945, Langley participated in the daring raid into the South China Sea supporting Lingayen Gulf operations. Raids were made against Formosa, Indo-China, and the China coast from December 30, 1944 to January 25, 1945. The thrust into this area, which the enemy had considered a private lake, netted a staggering number of Japanese ships, aircraft, supplies, and destroyed installations.

USS Langley next joined in the sweeps against Tokyo and Nansei Shoto in support of the conquest and occupation of Iwo Jima, February 10 to March 18, 1945. She next raided airfields on the Japanese homeland, and arrived off Okinawa March 23. Until May 11th, the ship divided her attention between the Okinawa invasion and strikes on Kyushu, Japan, in an effort to knock out kamikaze bases in southern Japan which were launching desperate and deadly attacks.

After touching Ulithi and Pearl Harbor, she steamed to San Francisco, arriving June 3rd for repairs and modernization. She departed August 1, 1945 for the forward area, and reached Pearl Harbor August 8. While there, word arrived that hostilities had ended. She completed two "Magic Carpet" voyages to the Pacific, and got underway October 1st for Philadelphia. She departed from that port November 15 for the first of two trips to Europe, transporting Army troops returning home from that theater.

She returned to Philadelphia January 6, 1946 and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group, May 31. USS Langley (CVL 27) decommissioned February 11, 1947, and was transferred to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, January 8, 1951. In French service she was renamed Lafayette (R-96). The carrier was returned to the United States March 20, 1963 and sold to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., for scrapping.


Langley II CVL-27Langley II CVL-27 - History

USS Langley , an 11,000-ton Independence class small aircraft carrier built at Camden, New Jersey, was originally ordered as the light cruiser Fargo (CL-85). By the time her keel was laid in April 1942, she had been redesigned as an aircraft carrier, using the original cruiser hull and machinery. Commissioned in August 1943, Langley went to the Pacific late in the year and entered combat during the Marshalls operation in January-February 1944. During the next four months, her planes attacked Japanese positions in the central Pacific and western New Guinea. In June 1944, she took part in the assault on the Marianas and in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Langley continued her war role through the rest of 1944, participating in the Palaus Operation, raids on the Philippines, Formosa and the Ryukyus, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In January-February 1945, she was part of the Third Fleet's foray into the South China Sea, the first massed carrier attacks on the Japanese Home Islands and the invasion of Iwo Jima. More combat activity followed in March-May, as Langley 's planes again hit targets in Japan and supported the Okinawa operation. Overhauled in the U.S. in June and July, she was en route back to the Pacific war zone when the conflict ended in August.

Following service transporting Pacific veterans home, Langley went to the Atlantic, where she carried out similar missions in November 1945 - January 1946. Inactive at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the remainder of 1946, the carrier decommissioned there in February 1947. Langley was taken out of "mothballs" early in 1951, refurbished and transferred to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. After more than a decade of French Navy service, under the name La Fayette , she was returned to the United States in March 1963 and sold for scrapping a year later.

This page features selected views of USS Langley (CL-27).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Underway off Cape Henry, Virginia, (36 55'N 75 45'W) with two SNJ training planes on her flight deck, 6 October 1943.
Photographed by a blimp of squadron ZP-14, out of NAS Weeksville, N.C.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 109KB 740 x 520 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

At anchor in harbor, February 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 101KB 740 x 590 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Anchored in Ulithi harbor, Caroline Islands, on 31 October 1944, following the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
USS Hornet (CV-12) and many other ships are in the background

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 118KB 740 x 590 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Enters Ulithi anchorage in column, 12 December 1944, while returning from strikes on targets in the Philippines.
Ships are (from front): Langley (CVL-27) Ticonderoga (CV-14) Washington (BB-56) North Carolina (BB-55) South Dakota (BB-57) Santa Fe (CL-60) Biloxi (CL-80) Mobile (CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 89KB 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Makes a simultaneous turn to port from column formation, while entering Ulithi anchorage on 12 December 1944 after strikes against the Japanese in the Philippines.
Ships are (from front): Langley (CVL-27) Ticonderoga (CV-14) Washington (BB-56) North Carolina (BB-55) South Dakota (BB-57) Santa Fe (CL-60) Biloxi (CL-80) Mobile (CL-63) and Oakland (CL-95).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 121KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Underway with a task force in the Pacific, 27 March 1945. Photographed from USS McCord (DD-534).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 67KB 740 x 520 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Lieutenant Commander Edward C. Outlaw, Commander Fighting Squadron 32 and Air Group 32, with other VF-32 pilots in flight quarters after a sweep over Truk, 29 April 1944.
Note steward serving drinks, status boards on the bulkhead and ventilator on the overhead

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 99KB 740 x 590 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

An F6F "Hellcat" fighter landing "high" during flight operations in the vicinity of the Nansei Shoto, 10 October 1944. Task Force 38 carriers hit Japanese targets in the Okinawa area on that day.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 87KB 740 x 595 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Scene on the flight deck, looking forward, as the carrier shoots down a Japanese plane during air attacks on Task Force 38 off Formosa, 14 October 1944. The falling plane is visible directly ahead of the ship.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 103KB 740 x 595 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Rolling sharply as she rides out a Pacific storm. Photographed from USS Essex (CV-9).
The original photograph is dated 13 January 1945, but Morison, "History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II", Vol. 13, captions this view as having been taken during the "Great Typhoon" of 18 December 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 68KB 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

Undergoes reactivation at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Pennsylvania, in January 1951. She was later transferred to the French Navy.


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Langley was built at Camden, New Jersey. She was originally ordered as the light cruiser USS Fargo (CL-85), but by the time her keel was laid in April 1942, she had been redesigned as an aircraft carrier, using the original cruiser hull and machinery. Commissioned in August 1943, Langley went to the Pacific late in the year and entered combat in World War II during the Marshall Islands operation in January–February 1944. During the next four months, her planes attacked Japanese positions in the central Pacific and western New Guinea. In June 1944, she took part in the assault on the Marianas and in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Langley continued her war role through the rest of 1944, participating in the Palaus Operation, raids on the Philippines, Formosa and the Ryukyus, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In January–February 1945, she was part of the Third Fleet's foray into the South China Sea, the first massed carrier attacks on the Japanese Home Islands and the invasion of Iwo Jima. More combat activity followed in March–May, as Langley's planes again hit targets in Japan and supported the Okinawa operation. Overhauled in the U.S. in June and July, she was en route back to the Pacific war zone when the war ended in August.

Following service transporting Pacific veterans home, Langley went to the Atlantic Ocean, where she carried out similar missions in November 1945 – January 1946. Inactive at Philadelphia during the remainder of 1946, the carrier was decommissioned there in February 1947.


CVL 27 Langley

Langley (CVL-27), originally named Fargo (CL-85), was laid down as Crown Point (CV-27) by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., 11 April 1942 renamed Langley 13 November 1942 launched 22 May 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Harry L. Hopkins, wife of the Special Assistant to President Roosevelt reclassified CVL-27, 15 July 1943 and commissioned 31 August 1943, Capt. W. M. Dillon in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Langley departed Philadelphia 6 December 1943 for Pearl Harbor, where she participated in training operations. On 19 January 1944, she sailed with Rear Adm. Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58 for the attack on the Marshall Islands. From 29 January to 6 February, the carrier's air group conducted raids on Wotje and Taora to support Allied landings at Kwajalein, and repeated the performance 10 through 28 February at Eniwetok.

After a brief respite at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands, Langley hit Japanese positions on Palau, Yap, and Woleai, Caroline Islands, from 30 March to 1 April 1944. She next proceeded to New Guinea to take part in the capture of Hollandia, 25 April. A mere four days later, the tireless carrier engaged in the two-day strike against the Japanese bastion Truk, rendering the formidable naval base almost useless to the "Sons of Nippon." During the raid, Langley and her aircraft accounted for some 35 enemy planes destroyed or damaged, while losing only one aircraft herself.

Langley next departed Majuro Atoll 7 June for the Marianas campaign. On 11 June 1944, Adm. Mitscher's carrier groups took over from the land-based Army Air Force bombers. At 1300, the Task Force launched a strike of 208 fighters and eight torpedo-bombers against enemy bases and airfields on Saipan and Tinian. From 11 June to 8 August, the battle raged for control of the Marianas. The Allied assault on the key to Japan's inner defenses, 15 June, forced the enemy to engage our fleet for the first time since Midway. During the two-day Battle of the Philippine Sea, 19 to 20 June 1944, the enemy suffered such serious losses that he was not able to again seriously challenge U.S. seapower until the invasion of Leyte. When Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa retreated with his battered Mobile Fleet, he was minus 426 aircraft and three carriers. Langley had added her strength to break this Japanese effort to reinforce the Marianas.

The carrier departed Eniwetok 29 August 1944, and sortied with Task Force 38, under the command of Adm. William F. Halsey for air assaults on Peleliu and airfields in the Philippines as the preliminary steps in the invasion of the Palaus 15 to 20 September. During October, she was off Formosa and the Pescadores Islands attached to Vice Adm. Mitscher's Fast Carrier Force. Later in the month, as the Navy carried Gen. MacArthur back to the Philippines, Langley was with Rear Adm. Sherman's Task Group protecting the Leyte beachheads.

In a desperate effort to parry this deadly thrust into her inner defenses, Japan struck back with her entire fleet. On 24 October 1944, Langley's planes helped to blunt the first and most powerful prong of this counteroffensive, Adm. Kurita's Center Force, as it steamed toward the San Bernardino Strait and the American beachhead. The following day, upon word of Japanese carriers north of Leyte, she raced to intercept. In the ensuing battle off Cape Engano, Mitscher's force pulverized the enemy fleet. The Japanese lost four carriers, two battleships, four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and five destroyers.

Langley's aircraft had assisted in the destruction of the carriers Zuiho and Zuikaku, the latter being the only remaining carrier of the six that had participated in the Pearl Harbor attack. Japan's chances for final victory had been reduced to nil by the great Battle of Leyte Gulf.

During November, Langley was lending her support to the Philippine landings and striking the Manila Bay area, Japanese reinforcement convoys, and Luzon airfields in the Cape Engano area. On 1 December 1944, the flattop withdrew to Ulithi for reprovisioning.

During January 1945, Langley participated in the daring raid into the South China Sea supporting Lingayen Gulf operations. Raids were made against Formosa, Indo-China, and the China coast from 30 December 1944 to 25 January 1945. The thrust into this area, which the enemy had considered a private lake, netted a staggering number of Japanese ships, aircraft, supplies, and destroyed installations.

Langley next joined in the sweeps against Tokyo and Nansei Shoto in support of the conquest and occupation of Iwo Jima, 10 February to 18 March 1945. She next raided airfields on the Japanese homeland, and arrived off Okinawa 23 March. Until 11 May, the ship divided her attention between the Okinawa invasion and strikes on Kyushu, Japan, in an effort to knock out kamikaze bases in southern Japan which were launching desperate and deadly attacks.

After touching Ulithi and Pearl Harbor, she steamed to San Francisco, arriving 3 June for repairs and modernization. She departed 1 August 1945 for the forward area, and reached Pearl Harbor 8 August. While there, word arrived that hostilities had ended. She completed two "Magic Carpet" voyages to the Pacific, and got underway 1 October for Philadelphia. She departed from that port 15 November for the first of two trips to Europe, transporting Army troops returning home from that theater.

She returned to Philadelphia 6 January 1946 and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group, 31 May. She decommissioned 11 February 1947, and was transferred to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, 8 January 1951. In French service she was renamed Lafayette (R-96). The carrier was returned to the United States 20 March 1963 and sold to the Boston Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., for scrapping.


Langley được chế tạo tại Camden, New Jersey. Nguyên nó được đặt hàng như chiếc tàu tuần dương hạng nhẹ USS Fargo (CL-85), nhưng vào lúc được đặt lườn vào tháng 4 năm 1942, nó được thiết kế lại thành một tàu sân bay, sử dụng động cơ và thân tàu nguyên thủy của chiếc tàu tuần dương. Tên được đặt theo Samuel Pierpont Langley, nhà khoa học và là một người tiên phong trong lĩnh vực hàng không Hoa Kỳ, CVL-27 tiếp nối cái tên và truyền thống của Langley (CV-1), chiếc tàu sân bay đầu tiên của Hải quân Mỹ, đã bị đánh chìm vào ngày 27 tháng 2 năm 1942 tại Đông Ấn thuộc Hà Lan. Langley được đưa ra hoạt động vào tháng 8 năm 1943.

Langley được đưa đến Mặt trận Thái Bình Dương vào cuối năm 1943 và bắt đầu tham gia Thế Chiến II trong chiến dịch quần đảo Marshall trong tháng 1 và tháng 2 năm 1944. Trong bốn tháng tiếp theo sau, máy bay của nó tấn công các căn cứ Nhật Bản tại khu vực Trung Thái Bình Dương và phía Tây New Guinea. Vào tháng 6 năm 1944, chiếc tàu sân bay tham gia các đợt tấn công tại Mariana và trong Trận chiến biển Philippine.

Langley tiếp tục vai trò trong chiến tranh của nó suốt phần còn lại của năm 1944, tham gia chiến dịch Palaus, thực hiện các cuộc không kích lên Philippines, Đài Loan và quần đảo Ryukyu, và tham gia trận chiến vịnh Leyte. Từ tháng 1 đến tháng 2 năm 1945, chiếc tàu sân bay là một thành phần của Đệ Tam hạm đội xâm nhập vào biển Nam Trung Quốc, tham gia cuộc không kích quy mô lớn đầu tiên lên các hòn đảo chính quốc Nhật Bản và tấn công lên đảo Iwo Jima. Nhiều hoạt động tác chiến khác được tiếp nối trong tháng 3 và tháng 4 năm 1945, khi máy bay của nó tấn công các mục tiêu tại Nhật Bản và hỗ trợ các hoạt động tại Okinawa. Được cho đại tu tại Mỹ trong tháng 6 và tháng 7 năm 1945, chiếc tàu sân bay vẫn còn đang trên đường quay trở lại chiến trường Thái Bình Dươing khi chiến tranh kết thúc vào tháng 8.

Sau các đợt vận chuyển cựu chiến binh tại Thái Bình Dương về nước, Langley chuyển sang Đại Tây Dương, nơi nó thực hiện những nhiệm vụ tương tự từ tháng 11 năm 1945 đến tháng 1 năm 1946. Bị bỏ không tại Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suốt thời gian còn lại của năm 1946, chiếc tàu sân bay được cho ngừng hoạt động vào tháng 2 năm 1947.

Langley được đưa ra khỏi lực lượng dự bị vào đầu năm 1951, được tân trang rồi được chuyển cho Pháp trong chương trình Trợ giúp Phòng thủ Tương hỗ. Sau hơn một thập niên phục vụ cho Hải quân Pháp dưới tên gọi La Fayette, nó được hoàn trả cho Hoa Kỳ vào tháng 3 năm 1963 và được bán để tháo dỡ một năm sau đó. [1]

Langley được tặng thưởng chín Ngôi sao Chiến đấu do thành tích phục vụ trong Chiến tranh Thế giới thứ hai. [2]


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