CVL Bois-Belleau (R 95) leaving NS Toulon on February 18th 1954 and cruising to Indochina. (M. Bar)
CVL BOIS-BELLEAU (Ex-BELLEAU-WOOD, Ex-NEW HAVEN) R-95
CVL LAFAYETTE (Ex-LANGLEY, Ex-CROWN POINT, Ex-FARGO) R-96
From 1940, the US Navy launched a new series of light cruisers (10 000 tW) belonged to the Cleveland class. Those cruisers were armed with 152 mm cannons. The US Navy planned building thirteen aircraft-carriers, because of lack of time (it took two years for building one ship and one year for training), in March 1942, nine of the Cleveland class cruisers were being built, were transformed into carriers and underwent the following modifications :
The first one, the USS Independence, was launched on August 22th 1942. Among them, the USS Langley CVL-27, which construction began on August 11th 1941 at New York Shipbuilding Corporation. She was launched on December 6th 1942, and commissioned on March 31th 1943. She took part under the US flag in Pacific War - Tarawa, Saïpan, Philippines, Iwo Jima landings.
She returned to Philadelphia 6 January 1946 and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group, 31 May. She decommissioned 11 February 1947, and was transferred to France under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, 8 January 1951. Under the French flag she took part in Indochina War and Suez Canal War. She was modernized between 1953 and 1954. She was repaired after Indochina and Suez Canal Wars between 1958 and 1959. She came back to USA in June 1960 and was scraped in September of the same year.Under the French colors she covered 350 000 nm, and her aircraft carried on 19 805 landings.
Sistership of the CVL-27 Lafayette, the CVL-24 Belleau-Wood was built at New York Shipbuilding Corporation on August 11th 1941, was launched on December 6th 1942 and was commissioned on March 31th 1943. She took part in the Pacific War -Gilbert islands, Kwajalein, Truk, New-Guinea, Marinannes, Palau, Leyte Gulf. During the last one (Leyte Gulf battle), she was damaged by a kamikaze strike on October 30th 1944.
She was placed out of commission in reserve at Alameda Naval Air Station 13 January 1947. She remained in reserve until transferred to France 5 September 1953 under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. Like her "big sister", she took part in Indochina War.
185. 90 m (length) x 31.
70 m (width)
185. 90 m (length) x 31. 70 m (width)
1/ Aeronautical installations and carrier air wing
About twenty-thirty aircraft were embarked aboard the ship class such as :
She was equipped with two lifts for aircraft, one lift for weapons, two hangars and two catapults.
Twenty-six 40 mm AA guns and six 20 mm AA Oerlikons guns.
3/ Machinery and crew