USS Long Island (CVE-1)

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USS Long Island (CVE-1) in San Francisco Bay, California (USA), on 10 June 1944 (80-G-236393).jpg
USS Long Island
History
US flag 48 stars.svgUnited States
NameUSS Long Island
Namesake Long Island, New York
Laid down7 July 1939
Launched11 January 1940
Commissioned2 June 1941
Decommissioned26 March 1946
Stricken12 April 1946
FateScrapped in Belgium in 1977
General characteristics
Class and type Long Island-class escort carrier
Displacement13,499 long tons (13,716 t)
Length492 ft (150 m)
Beam69 ft 6 in (21.18 m)
Draft25 ft 8 in (7.82 m)
Installed power8,500  hp (6,300 kW)
Propulsion
Speed16.5  kn (19.0 mph; 30.6 km/h)
Complement970 officers and enlisted
Armament
Aircraft carried30

USS Long Island (CVE-1) (originally AVG-1 and then ACV-1) was lead ship of her class and the first escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was also the second ship to be named after Long Island, New York.

Contents

Construction and commissioning

Long Island was laid down on 7 July 1939, as the C-3 cargo liner Mormacmail, under Maritime Commission contract, by the Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Chester, Pennsylvania as Yard No 185, launched on 11 January 1940, sponsored by Ms. Dian B. Holt, acquired by the Navy on 6 March 1941, and commissioned on 2 June 1941 as Long Island (AVG-1), Commander Donald B. Duncan in command.

Service history

World War II

In the tense months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Long Island operated out of Norfolk, Virginia, conducting experiments to prove the feasibility of aircraft operations from converted cargo ships. The data gathered by her crew greatly improved the combat readiness of later "baby flattops". Just after the Japanese attack, she escorted a convoy to Newfoundland and qualified carrier pilots at Norfolk before departing for the West Coast on 10 May 1942. Reaching San Francisco on 5 June, the ship immediately joined Admiral William S. Pye's Task Force One (TF 1); consisting of seven battleships and provided air cover while at sea to protect the West Coast of the United States and reinforce Admiral Chester Nimitz's forces before, during and after their victory in the Battle of Midway. [2] She left the formation on 17 June and returned to the West Coast to resume carrier pilot training.

Long Island departed San Diego on 8 July and arrived Pearl Harbor on 17 July. After a training run south to Palmyra Island, she loaded two squadrons of Marine Corps aircraft and got underway for the South Pacific on 2 August. Touching at Fiji on 13 August, she then steamed to a point 200  mi (170  nmi ; 320  km ) southeast of Guadalcanal and launched her aircraft (19 Grumman F4F Wildcats and 12 Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers). [3] These planes, the first to reach Henderson Field, were instrumental in the Guadalcanal campaign and went on to compile a distinguished war record. Her mission was accomplished. Reclassified ACV-1 on 20 August, Long Island sailed for Efate Island, New Hebrides, and arrived on 23 August.

Long Island in sea camouflage, November 1941. Seven SOC Seagull floatplanes and one F2A3 Buffalo fighter are on deck. USS Long Island (AVG-1) in Measure 12 camouflage - 19-N-27986.jpg
Long Island in sea camouflage, November 1941. Seven SOC Seagull floatplanes and one F2A3 Buffalo fighter are on deck.

Long Island's actions at Guadalcanal are mentioned and seen in the movie Flying Leathernecks .

Long Island returned to the West Coast on 20 September, as the new "baby flattops" took up the slack in the Pacific war zones. For the next year, the escort carrier trained carrier pilots at San Diego. Long Island was reclassified CVE-1 on 15 July 1943. In 1944–1945, she transported airplanes and their crews from the West Coast to various outposts in the Pacific. After V-J Day, she revisited many of these same bases while transporting soldiers and sailors back home during Operation Magic Carpet.

Post-war

Seven Seas docked in Andalsnes, Norway ca 1960 "Seven Seas" pa Andalsnes havn - no-nb digifoto 20150128 00002 NB MIT FNR 19397 A.jpg
Seven Seas docked in Åndalsnes, Norway ca 1960

Long Island decommissioned on 26 March 1946 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 12 April, she was sold to Zidell Ship Dismantling Company of Portland, Oregon on 24 April 1947 for scrapping. However, on 12 March 1948, she was acquired by the Canada-Europe Line for conversion to merchant service. Upon completion of conversion in 1949, she was renamed Nelly, [4] and served as an immigrant carrier between Europe, Australia and Canada. In 1953, she was renamed Seven Seas. In 1955, she was chartered to the German Europe-Canada Line. On 17 July 1965, she had a serious fire and was towed to St John's, Newfoundland. She was repaired and started her last voyage on 13 September 1966. She was bought the same year and employed by Rotterdam University as a students' hostel until 1971 and as a migrant hostel until 1977, when she was scrapped in Belgium. [5] [6]

Awards

Long Island received one battle star for her World War II service.

Notes

  1. Friedman 1983 p. 162
  2. "Pye’s Midway:America’s Battleship Fleet" By Mike Bennighof, PhD, January 2018 http://www.avalanchepress.com/PyesMidway.php, retrieved 27 September 2018
  3. Morison 2010 p. 73
  4. Silverstone(1968)p.52
  5. North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.4,p.1738
  6. http://www.ssmaritime.com/sevenseas.htm

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References