The USS Langley was an 11,000 ton Independence class aircraft carrier that served in the United States navy from 1943-1947.The ship was originally ordered as a light cruiser called the Fargo. In 1942 the ship was redesigned to become an aircraft carrier and was renamed the USS Langley, carrying on the name tradition from the first aircraft carrier USS Langley (CV-1), which was sunk on Feb 27 1942.
Action in World War II
During WWII the USS Langley played a very important role in the south Pacific fighting against Japanese forces in the region. Late in 1943 the ship participated in the Marshall operation which lasted until February 1944. Her planes were used to launch attacks against Japanese islands and were very instrumental in the success of the Marshall operation. The Langley continued her duties in the pacific as she took part in combat missions in central pacific and Western New Guinea.
Beginning in June of 1944 the ship and its crew took part in combat operations in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The Langley continued her combat operations through the year 1944 including raids on the Philippines, Formosa and the Ryukyus, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Beginning in January of 1945 the ship was included in the Third Fleet, which was to sail into mainland China’s south sea and perform massive raids on Japanese home islands. The aircraft carrier also participated in the historical invasion of Iwo Jima. Subsequently, the ship provided support for the Okinawa operations and continued to serve as a troop carrier that transported troops home to the United States returning home from the war.
After the War
The carrier was decommissioned in 1947 and later taken out of mothball status in 1951 and was refurbished and transferred to the French Navy for service under Mutual Defense Assistance Program. The ship served proudly and very effectively under the name Lafayette for over a decade until she was returned back to the United States in 1963 and later in that year was sold for scrap. The Langley received nine battle stars for her efforts in World War II.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially throughout conflicts of the last century, submarines also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. However, these risks extend beyond the inherent dangers that existed while operating the vessels during military conflicts. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were also common aboard submarines because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Furthermore, the enclosed environment of submarines put servicemen at an even higher risk of exposure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with or served on submarines should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.