- USS Langley (CVL-27)
The USS "Langley" (CVL-27) was an 11,000-ton Sclass|Independence|aircraft carrier that served the
United States Navyfrom 1943 to 1947, and French Navyas 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.
The "Langley" was built at
Camden, New Jersey. She was originally ordered as the light cruiser USS "Fargo" (CL-85), but by the time her keelwas 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 IIduring the Marshall Islandsoperation 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 Okinawaoperation. 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, Pennsylvania, during the remainder of 1946, the carrier was decommissioned there in February 1947.
"Langley" was taken out of "mothballs" early in 1951, refurbished and transferred to
Franceunder the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. After more than a decade of French Navyservice as the "La Fayette", she was returned to the United Statesin March 1963 and was sold for scrap a year later. [ [http://www.netmarine.net/bat/porteavi/lafayett/index.htm Porte-avions La Fayette ] ]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-l/cvl27.htm The original version of this article based on US Navy public domain text.]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/27.htm navsource.org: USS "Langley"]
* [http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/carriers/cvl27.htm hazegray.org: USS "Langley"]
* [http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/books/ships/monsarrat/index.htm "Angel on the Yardarm: The Beginnings of Fleet Radar Defense and the Kamikaze Threat"] - Review of book by John Monsarrat, who served aboard "Langley" during major battles of the Pacific War from January 1944 to May 1945.
* [http://www.ninesisters.com/langley.htm USS Langley] at Nine Sisters Light Carrier Historical Documentary Project
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