USS Langley: The History of Naval Aviation (part 1)
THE HISTORY OF NAVAL AVIATION (part 1). In my Aviation Trilogy: Project Seven Alpha, Vengeance at Midway and Guadalcanal and very soon End Game in the Pacific; I try to thrill the reader and show the adventure of flight. Books #2 and #3 are centered on Naval Aviation during the Pacific Campaign of WWII. Naval Aviation celebrated its 100th anniversary recently. Eugene Ely proved the concept of flying from and landing back on the deck of a ship in 1911. Before the age of powered flight was even a decade old. After Ely’s success; $25,000 was dedicated to start Naval Aviation in the United States Navy.
When Naval Aviation first came on the scene, the Battle ship still reigned as the Capitol Ship of all the world’s navies. Fleet Admirals dismissively looked at Naval Aviation as no more than spotters or scouts. Their job to find the enemy so that the real fire power of a Battle Ship’s guns could be brought to bear. A Battle Ship or Heavy Cruiser would carry just a few aircraft to scout for the fleet.
The concept of an Attack Aircraft Carrier was resisted at the top levels of the Navy. Finally, funding was given for an “experiment”; below is a short video on the initial carrier landings on CV-1. The USS Langley (a converted coal ship), changed everything. Amazing footage; enjoy!