U.S.S. LANGLEY, the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier was decommissioned in late 1936 and converted to a seaplane tender, reentering service in April 1937.   The ship then served in the Pacific, operating with patrol squadrons from Alaska, San Diego, and Hawaii, until early 1939, when she transferred to the Atlantic for six months, then returned to the Pacific and was sent to the Philippines to serve with the Asiatic Fleet.  Operating with the Asiatic Fleet, LANGLEY was sunk on February 27, 1942, while transporting a load of P-40s to Java.  

At the time of her conversion, about one third of her flight deck forward was removed.  The remainder, almost as long as that of some of the World War II escort carriers, provided ample storage space for transporting aircraft, a role that she often filled.   Because she was the largest and most modern tender in the fleet, LANGLEY immediately received the new Consolidated PBY-1s as her assigned brood, but photos during her Pacific service show the ship transporting loads of the PBY's predecessor, the Consolidated P2Y, a patrol plane that served with front line units until 1941, when the remaining P2Ys were retired from front line operational service and relegated to training purposes at Pensacola Florida.   

The Neptun model (N 1318a) of LANGLEY comes with a dark gray painted flight deck.  I repainted it and decaled it to make it consistent with Neptun's other pre-war U.S. Navy carrier models.   The deck load of six P2Ys are by Saratoga Model Shipyard (SMY F-1).  The wings were removed, and the struts holding them cut off, so that the wings could be stored as shown in the photos.  The aircraft were painted in the colors of Patrol Squadron 15, which in 1938 was operating P2Y2s out of Pearl Harbor.  A total of 78 P2Y patrol planes were delivered between 1933 and 1935.  Six served with the Argentine Navy, one with Columbia, and the Japanese received one which they used for evaluation purposes.  


(Photo credits:  The two real photos are from NavSource.com)

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