CV-1 USS Langley First of Her Kind

USS Langley

CV-1 USS Langley First of Her Kind

The above is commemorative print of the USS Langley or as the picture shows, the U.S. Aeroplane Carrier. Yep, the Langley was our first official aircraft carrier.

In 1920 she was converted from the USS Jupiter, a collier and was one of several planned conversions. These took a different path as the Washington Naval Treaty (Hey! Didn’t we talk about that?) lead to several partial constructed battle cruisers becoming carriers instead, the Lexington and the Saratoga.

She had a carrier pigeon-house built on her stern. While this was not highly unusual as pigeons were used by seaplanes at the time. Of course things did not go as planned. If the pigeons were released one or two at a time, they would always come back as they were supposed to, but once the entire flock was released they went home to Norfolk and never came back to the ship. The coop was eventually turned into the Executive Officers quarters. (Please commence jokes now.)

Early on in WWII she ferried airplanes around the Southeast Asia theater and served as part of anti-submarine patrols.  She was not going to be able to avoid danger forever though. In February 27, 1942 the Japanese had their way with her, causing so much damage that she had to be scuttled. A twenty-two year career and she went out with a bang.

In a tragic foot note, after being scuttled most of her surviving crew was put aboard the USS Pecos for the trip back to Australia. Unfortunately the ship sunk on the journey back.