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USS Langley (CVL-27)

The USS Langley (CVL-27) was an 11,000-ton Independence class small aircraft carrier that served the United States Navy from 1943 - 1964.

She built at Camden, New Jersey. The Langley was originally ordered as the light cruiser 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 Island 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 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 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 was sold for scrap a year later.


See USS Langley for other Navy ships of the same name.