USS Langley (CVL-27) file photo [15296]

Langley (Independence-class)

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassIndependence-class Light Carrier
Hull NumberCVL-27
BuilderNew York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, United States
Laid Down11 Apr 1942
Launched22 May 1943
Commissioned31 Aug 1943
Decommissioned11 Feb 1947
Displacement11,000 tons full
Length623 feet
Beam109 feet
Draft26 feet
MachineryGeneral Electric geared turbines with four screws
Power Output100,000 shaft horsepower
Speed31 knots
Armament24x40mm guns, 22x20mm anti-aircraft guns
Armor5in belt, 2in deck, 0.5in conning tower
Transferred to France8 Jan 1951
Transferred Back to US20 Mar 1963


ww2dbaseNamed after the first United States Navy carrier which was sunk near the start of the Pacific War, the second USS Langley, CVL-27, was commissioned into service in Aug 1943. She had originally been ordered as a light cruiser, but she was reordered as a light carrier in Mar 1942 and was renamed Langley in Nov 1942. She joined the war starting in early 1944 and saw action in the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, Mariana Islands, Palau Islands, Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and other locations as the Japanese front lines slowly fell back toward the Japanese home islands. She returned to the United States for a scheduled overhaul in Jun 1945, and while en route back to the front, Japan announced its intention to surrender. After transporting Pacific War veterans back to the United States in Oct 1945, she conducted a similar mission with European War veterans between Nov 1945 and Jan 1946. She was inactivated at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States in 1946 and was decommissioned, also at Philadelphia, in the following year.

ww2dbaseIn 1951, Langley was transferred to the French Navy under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program where she would be renamed La Fayette (R96). Based out of Toulon, France, she made several journeys to the Far East with American-built WW2-era propeller carrier aircraft, seeing action in Indochina. She also saw service in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Atlantic Ocean, where she participated in the 1956 Suez Crisis and assisted survivors of the earthquake of 1960 at Agadir, Morocco, among other missions. La Fayette was returned to the United States in Mar 1963 after logging 350,000 nautical miles, and was sold for scrap at Baltimore, Maryland, United States in 1964.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: May 2012

Light Carrier Langley (Independence-class) (CVL-27) Interactive Map


USS Langley underway off Cape Henry, Virginia, United States, 6 Oct 1943; note SNJ aircraft on flight deckUSS Langley underway off Cape Henry, Virginia, United States, 6 Oct 1943; note SNJ aircraft on flight deck and K-class airship from Lighter Than Air Squadron ZP-14 overhead.Ships at Pearl Harbor’s repair piers, 16 Jan 1944. Note the camouflage paint on the buildings.USS Langley at anchor in Kwajalein Lagoon, 8 Feb 1944
See all 48 photographs of Light Carrier Langley (Independence-class) (CVL-27)

Langley (Independence-class) Operational Timeline

31 Mar 1942 Light cruiser Fargo, previously ordered but not yet laid down, was reordered by the US Navy as a carrier to be named Crown Point.
11 Apr 1942 The keel of carrier Crown Point was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey, United States.
13 Nov 1942 Carrier Crown Point, still under construction at Camden, New Jersey, United States, was renamed Langley.
22 May 1943 Carrier Langley was launched at Camden, New Jersey, United States.
15 Jul 1943 The US Navy established a new scheme for the designation of aircraft carriers. Large fleet carriers would retain the designation of CV. 10,000-ton carriers built on light cruiser hulls were changed from CV to CVL (light carriers). Auxiliary aircraft carriers, previously ACV, were redesignated as CVE (escort carriers). Finally, the new designation of CVB (large carriers) was established for the Midway-class carriers.
31 Aug 1943 USS Langley was commissioned into service.
12 Oct 1944 VT-44 squadron TBM aircraft from USS Langley attacked Kagi Airfield in Kagi (now Chiayi), Taiwan.
18 Dec 1944 Many ships from the United States Third Fleet, Task Force 38 sailed into Typhoon Cobra in the Philippine Sea. Three destroyers and 790 men were lost.
3 Jan 1945 6 TBM-1C aircraft and 12 F6F-5 fighters, both of Air Group 44 from USS Langley, attacked Hokuto Airfield (referred by the Americans as "Keishu Airfield") in Hokuto (now Beidou) in central Taiwan with 60 100-pound bombs, rockets, and strafing. No Japanese aircraft rose to defend.
14 Mar 1945 USS Yorktown (Essex-class), USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Langley (Independence-class), USS Flint, USS San Diego, and USS St. Louis departed Ulithi, Caroline Islands to resume raids on Japan in support of the Okinawa operations.
18 Mar 1945 USS Yorktown (Essex-class), USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Langley (Independence-class), USS Flint, USS San Diego, and USS St. Louis arrived in the operating area off Japan and began launching strikes on airfields on Kyushu, Honshu, and Shikoku. The task group came under air attack almost as soon as operations began. Yorktown and Enterprise were struck by single bombs that resulted in minimal casualties and minimal damage.
19 Mar 1945 USS Yorktown (Essex-class), USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Langley (Independence-class), USS Flint, USS San Diego, and USS St. Louis continued air operations against the three southernmost islands of Japan.
11 Feb 1947 USS Langley was decommissioned from service at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
8 Jan 1951 US light carrier Langley was transferred to France.
2 Jun 1951 Light carrier La Fayette (R96) was commissioned into service.
20 Mar 1963 French light carrier La Fayette was transferred to the United States.

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More on Langley (Independence-class)
Event(s) Participated:
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Typhoon Cobra
» Raid into the South China Sea
» Battle of Iwo Jima
» Okinawa Campaign

» US Aircraft Carrier Functions
» US Aircraft Carrier Operational Status By Month
» US Carrier Time Operational

Light Carrier Langley (Independence-class) (CVL-27) Photo Gallery
USS Langley underway off Cape Henry, Virginia, United States, 6 Oct 1943; note SNJ aircraft on flight deck
See all 48 photographs of Light Carrier Langley (Independence-class) (CVL-27)

Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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