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USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/6/2019 7:00:07 PM   
Gridley380


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USS Langley is one of those ships that defy simple classification. Calling her an AV in the game is perfectly reasonable - that was, after all, her USN classification and she did, in fact, do that job during the war. She also ferried aircraft on that big flat deck that covered half her hull.

So, I have to wonder - if she'd survived the DEI, would the Navy have converted her back to a carrier? Obviously she'd be down there with USS Long Island in terms of capacity, but a deck is a deck. Even if she served more as an aircraft ferry she'd have freed up a better CVE for front-line service.

Thoughts?
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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/6/2019 7:10:08 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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I doubt it, that ship was simply too old and too slow. Most likely it would had remained "as is" ferrying planes from the US to Australia

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/6/2019 8:34:08 PM   
jagsdomain

 

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It would have been around for farring planes but as a warship know.
She was probly about 15 knots on a flowing tied and 30 knot wind at her stern.
As you say a deck is a deck. Its quite possavle that she could have been frontline through 42 amd maybe even in the Canal campane after all only the big E was there.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/6/2019 9:38:17 PM   
RangerJoe


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Make it unique. An AKV that with the ability to support aircraft like an AV. It probably would not have been worth it to install a steam catapult or similar system to turn it into a CVE with the ability to support aircraft like an AV.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/7/2019 2:55:00 AM   
Ian R

 

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AV-3 = Seaplane tender.

So she most likely continues in that role for a while, somewhere safe. Later on when enough new and more capable AVs and AVDs are coming off the slipways, an honourable retirement to San Diego to train AV crews dockside, or similar. She was 30 years old in 1942, and it would probably take longer/cost more to rebuild her as a modernised CVE than to get a new one from Kaiser Shipbuilding.

The transport of 32 assembled P40s to Tjilijap in 1942 was very much an emergency measure, never to be repeated. She was not a real aircraft ferry and couldn't fly them off. They may as well have rigged up a temporary deck superstructure on a freighter and used that. It was, all in all, a venture born of desperation, partly at least politically driven (the aircraft would have been of more use in Burma/India), and a misuse of a useful ship outside its intended role. The most surprising thing is it nearly worked.

quote:

Thoughts of beaching the USS Langley and lowering the P-40Es on a beach to
take-off from were considered, should the port be unavailable.


PDF here: P40s in Australia,part 5 by G Birkett

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/7/2019 4:00:36 AM   
BBfanboy


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If she had a continuous hangar deck and not too much draft, I would have converted her to a RO-RO ship (roll-on, roll-off) for delivery of vehicles. Attach some ramps that can be dropped to shore level and the equipment to lift them, and you have a sort of LST with more seaworthiness (if the weight of the vehicles carried high could be countered by ballast).

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/7/2019 4:14:10 AM   
RangerJoe


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An AKV carries aircraft intact and uses a crane to put them on land. It does not launch them. What was described as the plan, is what an AKV does.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/7/2019 7:46:19 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

An AKV carries aircraft intact and uses a crane to put them on land. It does not launch them. What was described as the plan, is what an AKV does.



True, but a new mass produced Casablanca from Kaiser could carry more fighters, and they could fly off to land bases.

It's a bit like the two building Alaska hulls in 1942 - a plan was drawn up to convert them into small CVs (and they had commonality of machinery with an Essex) but their underwater protection was poor, and it was cheaper and quicker to just build two more capable Essex's instead.

The only old ships that got a big and expensive rebuild were the slow BBs, whose big guns were useful in the bombardment role. Even then, rebuilding the ones that were effectively sunk at Pearl harbor but salvageable seems more like a statement of national will and a message to Imperial Japan than an operational necessity. The Wee Vee was out of action for nearly 2.5 years before emerging looking like a slower version of a South Dakota and getting some payback at Surigao Strait.







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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/7/2019 11:59:17 AM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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They would still had used it for something, no idleness during wartime and plenty of needs for AKVs

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/7/2019 1:44:31 PM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

They would still had used it for something, no idleness during wartime and plenty of needs for AKVs


Yes, I agree. As a seaplane tender, and later a training ship.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 2:38:53 PM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R

AV-3 = Seaplane tender.



Granted. Of course before she was AV-3 she was CV-1, and served in that role for 14 years. As noted, by 1940's standards even a lengthy refit would have left her as a 2nd class CVE... but the US didn't have trouble finding uses for USS Long Island either.

quote:



So she most likely continues in that role for a while, somewhere safe. Later on when enough new and more capable AVs and AVDs are coming off the slipways, an honourable retirement to San Diego to train AV crews dockside, or similar. She was 30 years old in 1942, and it would probably take longer/cost more to rebuild her as a modernised CVE than to get a new one from Kaiser Shipbuilding.

The transport of 32 assembled P40s to Tjilijap in 1942 was very much an emergency measure, never to be repeated. She was not a real aircraft ferry and couldn't fly them off.



Um... aircraft *ferries* were USN code AKV - USS Kitty Hawk, for example; they couldn't fly off the aircraft they transported, they just transported them with the wings on. The US did use a bunch of CVEs on aircraft ferrying *missions*... during which the decks were so packed they'd have had a hard time flying off a Grasshopper. They even ferried things like PBYs.

USS Ranger, at least, did carry and fly off land-based fighters (I think P-40's?) in the Med, but that seems to have been the exception rather than the rule.

quote:



They may as well have rigged up a temporary deck superstructure on a freighter and used that.



The British CAM ships weren't far off that. The Allies were really desperate for decks early in the war.

quote:



It was, all in all, a venture born of desperation, partly at least politically driven (the aircraft would have been of more use in Burma/India), and a misuse of a useful ship outside its intended role. The most surprising thing is it nearly worked.

quote:

Thoughts of beaching the USS Langley and lowering the P-40Es on a beach to
take-off from were considered, should the port be unavailable.


PDF here: P40s in Australia,part 5 by G Birkett


Thanks for the link, the idea of beaching her was a detail I'd never run across before. Granted she shouldn't have 'been there and doing that' when she was sunk (from a military standpoint)... which of course is part of where the idea comes from - if she hadn't been sunk, what would have been done with such an oddball ship? Continuing as an AV is an entirely reasonable assumption, but as the above noted CAM ships and the IJN BB/CV conversion note, the WWII navies were not above doing something that looks crazy to post-war naval architects.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 3:07:41 PM   
RangerJoe


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The US Ranger flew a couple of loads of Spitfires to Malta. The Spitfires took off before they reached the island. I remember reading where an Indian pilot had a naval crewman walk into his propeller. The Pilot was never the same afterwards.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 3:10:27 PM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

The US Ranger flew a couple of loads of Spitfires to Malta. The Spitfires took off before they reached the island. I remember reading where an Indian pilot had a naval crewman walk into his propeller. The Pilot was never the same afterwards.


Ah, of course. Dunno why I was thinking P-40's. Thanks!

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 4:19:54 PM   
pontiouspilot


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...and neither was the crewman!!!

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 5:18:11 PM   
AW1Steve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

The US Ranger flew a couple of loads of Spitfires to Malta. The Spitfires took off before they reached the island. I remember reading where an Indian pilot had a naval crewman walk into his propeller. The Pilot was never the same afterwards.



Actually that was the Wasp (CV-7). Ranger flew several groups of P-40's into North Africa, after the invasion (Torch).

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 5:22:34 PM   
AW1Steve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jagsdomain

It would have been around for farring planes but as a warship know.
She was probly about 15 knots on a flowing tied and 30 knot wind at her stern.
As you say a deck is a deck. Its quite possavle that she could have been frontline through 42 amd maybe even in the Canal campane after all only the big E was there.



Actually "The Covered Wagon" (her nickname) was rated for 11 kts by the time of WW2. Too slow to deck launch just about anything except a Piper cub. Really too slow even for a AVT or CVE. Her best use is as a AV. She causes me another problem in the game. If she survives the PI campaign , in 1944 you get another USS Lamgley (a CVL). The second Langlet doesn't have a II after her name , so You cannot re-name her. :(


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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 6:17:53 PM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

The US Ranger flew a couple of loads of Spitfires to Malta. The Spitfires took off before they reached the island. I remember reading where an Indian pilot had a naval crewman walk into his propeller. The Pilot was never the same afterwards.



Actually that was the Wasp (CV-7). Ranger flew several groups of P-40's into North Africa, after the invasion (Torch).


Ah, the fun of correcting the correction. On the plus side, I was right, she did fly off P-40's! Thanks. :-)

For reference, DANFS: "Steaming to Quonset Point, R.I., Ranger loaded 68 Army P-40 planes and men of the Army's 33rd Pursuit Squadron, put to sea 22 April [1942], and launched the Army squadron 10 May to land at Accra, on the Gold Coast of Africa. She returned to Quonset Point 28 May 1942, made a patrol to Argentia, then stood out of Newport 1 July with 72 Army P-40 pursuit planes, which she launched off the coast of Africa for Accra the 19th."

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 7:27:06 PM   
Ian R

 

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A P47 group was ferried to ?? Saipan on a CVE. They were catapulted off and some even flew CAP before landing ashore. CVEs were also used to ferry fighters to North Africa. They seem to have used the less capable Bogue class for that, although most of those went to the RN. E.G. the CVE-31 Prince William was used only in that role, except for some periods operating as a training carrier.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/9/2019 8:29:13 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

The US Ranger flew a couple of loads of Spitfires to Malta. The Spitfires took off before they reached the island. I remember reading where an Indian pilot had a naval crewman walk into his propeller. The Pilot was never the same afterwards.


Actually that was the Wasp (CV-7). Ranger flew several groups of P-40's into North Africa, after the invasion (Torch).


I lay-down corrected on that.

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/10/2019 3:09:37 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

USS Ranger, at least, did carry and fly off land-based fighters (I think P-40's?) in the Med, but that seems to have been the exception rather than the rule.


Actually USS Ranger launched several anti-shipping strikes near Bodo, Norway in 1943.

http://www.airgroup4.com/norway.htm

Air Group 4 served on USS Ranger at the time. The German account of the attack is at:

http://www.airgroup4.com/german.htm




< Message edited by spence -- 9/10/2019 3:15:31 AM >

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/10/2019 12:54:17 PM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

USS Ranger, at least, did carry and fly off land-based fighters (I think P-40's?) in the Med, but that seems to have been the exception rather than the rule.


Actually USS Ranger launched several anti-shipping strikes near Bodo, Norway in 1943.

http://www.airgroup4.com/norway.htm

Air Group 4 served on USS Ranger at the time. The German account of the attack is at:

http://www.airgroup4.com/german.htm





What does that have to do with ferrying aircraft?

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/10/2019 3:04:06 PM   
Yaab


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I am astonished you guys do not know the real purpose of this ship.

It is all right there in her name

USS Langley (AV-3)

thus

Langley, VA

Thank her for the SIGINT!

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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/12/2019 1:02:19 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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Question: after it was rebuilt as seaplane tender, was there any benefit of keeping this half-deck? obvious benefit is the capability to park planes on top of the deck (in addition to storing inside deck)

I can't see any other seaplane tender having this configuration, instead they look like normal ships with additional cranes in the stern area to support seaplane operations

Which is why I think using it as aircraft ferry can be more useful


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RE: USS Langley (AV-3) - 9/12/2019 5:28:40 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

was there any benefit of keeping this half-deck? obvious benefit is the capability to park planes on top of the deck


Cost.

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