Built at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. On October 18, 1911 U.S. President Taft attended the ceremony when her keel was laid down as fleet oiler USS Jupiter AC-3. Launched on August 14, 1912. Commissioned April 7, 1913.
World War I
On April 27, 1914 Jupiter embarked a U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) detachment at San Francisco and joined to the Pacific Fleet at Mazatlán Mexico and remained until October 10 then departed for Philadelphia, passing through the Panama Canal on October 14, 1914 and was the first vessel to transit it from west to east.
During World War I, she cruised the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico attached to the Atlantic Fleet Auxiliary Division. On April 6, 1917 arrived at Norfolk, Virginia and was assigned to NOTS. Next made two trips to France carrying cargo during June 1917, including Naval aviation detachment of 7 officers and 122 men to England.
The second voyage was November 1918, afterwards returned to Norfolk January 23 ,1919. On March 8, 1919 departed for Brest, France, for coaling duty in European waters to expedite the return United States troops. Returning to Norfolk on August 17, 1919 ship was transferred to the west coast.
First Aircraft Carrier
On July 11, 1919 this ship was selected for conversion into the U. S. Navy's first aircraft carrier for the purpose of conducting experiments in seaborne aviation. On December 12, 1919 arrived at Hampton Roads for the conversion. Decommissioned March 24, 1920. Renamed USS Langley (CV-1) April 11, 1920. Recommissioned March 20, 1922.
On October 25, 1936 arrived at Mare Island Naval Shipyard for overhaul and conversion to a seaplane tender. On February 26, 1937 the conversion was completed. On April 11, 1937 redesignated as USS Langley (AV-3) and assigned to Aircraft Scouting Force as a seaplane tender operating from Seattle, Sitka, Pearl Harbor and San Diego. Between February 1, 1939 to July 10, 1939 operated with the Atlantic Fleet then back to Pacific. On September 24, 1939 arrived Manila Bay to operate with the Asiatic Fleet.
On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War, Langley was at anchored off Cavite in Manila Bay and immediately departed southward for Balikpapan then to Australia. On January 1, 1942 arrived at Darwin and for the next ten days, assisted the Royal Australian
Air Force (RAAF) with anti-submarine patrols in the area.
Afterwards, assigned to the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) fleet and ordered to the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) to defend the area. On February 22, 1942 departed Fremantle as part of a convoy bound for India.
On February 27, 1942 Langley diverted from the convoy to on
a mission to deliver thirty-two P-40 Warhawks to Tjilatjap on Java. Roughly 200 miles south of Java, rendezvoused with escorts USS Whipple DD-217 and USS Edsall DD-219. At 11:40am bombed by nine G4M1 Betty bombers from the Takao Kokutai roughly 75 miles south of Tjilatjap. Hit by bombs, Langley was damaged and aboard sixteen were killed. Afterwards, the damaged vessel was abandoned and scuttled by USS Whipple DD-217.
Fates of the Crew
The crew were rescued by the escorting destroyers. USS Edsall DD-219 rescued 117 survivors who were transferred to USS Pecos off Christmas Island and were then transported to Fremantle.
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August 4, 2020