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United States' CV-1 USS Langley aircraft carrier


  • CV-1 USS Langley
  • CV-1 USS Langley
  • CV-1 USS Langley
    Near San Diego with the USS Somers in 1928. US Navy photo, National Archives, NH-81279-01.
  • CV-1 USS Langley
    Near Christobal in the Canal Zone in March 1930. US Navy photo, National Archives, 80-G-185915-01.


The United States Navy couldn't get funding from the United States Congress to build an aircraft carrier so they converted the fleet collier USS Jupiter (AC-3).1,2,4 The USS Langley was to be only used for developing carrier operations.2,3,4

Flight Deck

The Langley's flight deck was made from wood on top of a beam and girder framework.2 The side under the flight deck did not have walls.2

The flight deck was also flush without an island.3

Based on British designs the Langley initially had longitudinal wires for landings.3 However, it was decided to add a backup system of transverse wires that had casings that had sand filled in them.3 Later a hydraulic system was developed and it was to be the standard of carriers going forward.3

There were two 60' catapults.4


The bridge was located under the flight deck.2


The funnels were located on the port size and were hinged.2,4


Four of the holds were used to store aircraft.4 Maintenance was done on the flight deck.4

A single elevator brought aircraft to the flight deck.4


CV-1 USS Langley

  • Formerly the USS Jupiter (AC-3)1,2,4
  • Manufacturer: Mare Island4
  • October 11, 1918: Laid down.4
  • March 1920: Selected to be converted to carrier at Norfolk Navy Yard.4
  • 19221, August 12, 1924: Launched.1,4
  • March 20, 1922, March 19222: Completed.2,4
  • 1928: Catapults on flight deck removed.2
  • 1936: Removed from service as an aircraft carrier.2,3 Conversion to a seaplane tender.2,3 41% of the front of the flight deck was removed.2,3 Four 3" L/50 guns added on the flight deck.2 Four .50 cal machine guns added near bridge.2
  • 1937: Became seaplane tender.1,3,4 Designated the AV-3.3,4 250' of the flight deck was removed.4
  • February 1942: Ferrying P-40s to Dutch East Indies.2
  • February 27, 19422,3,4, 19421: Sunk.1,2,3,4


While ferrying P-40s to the Dutch East Indies the Langley suffered five near misses from bombs and had to be scuttled by its escort, the USS Whipple4.2,3


  USS Langley
Crew 3502,4, 4103
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 11,050 tons3, 11,500 tons2, 12,700 tons1,4
Displacement - Loaded 14,700 tons3
Length 542'2,4, 542' 4"3
165.2 m4, 165.3 m3
Length - Water Line 519'4
158.19 m4
Beam 65' 6"3,4, 68'2
19.96 m3,4
Draft / Height 16' 6"4, 24'2,3
5.03 m4, 7.32 m3
Draft / Height - Max Load 22'4
6.71 m4
Flight Deck 534' x 64'4
162.7 m x 19.51 m4
Speed 14 knots2,3
Range 12,260 nautical miles2
Anti-Aircraft 5"2,3, 127 mm2,3, 5" L/514: 42,3,4
Aircraft 302, 344
Fighters: 303
Armor None3
Boilers Bureau4: 34
Shafts 13, 24
Turbines General Electric4, Steam4
HP 7,0004, 7,1503
Oil 2,300 tons4
Gasoline - Aircraft 578 tons4


  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  2. US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1922-45 Prewar Class, Mark Stille, 2005
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site