Long Island, a 167-ton steam trawler, was built in 1912 by Cobb &
Butler, Rockland, Maine; purchased by the Navy 18 April 1917 from her owner,
George B. Morrill, Portland, Maine; taken over 1 May 1917; enrolled in the Naval
Coast Defense Reserve 2 May 1917; and commissioned as USS Long Island
(SP-572) on 8 May 1917 at Boston, Ens. Stephen Black, USNRF, in command. Through World War I,
assigned to the 1st Naval District, she served as a harbor patrol vessel,
minesweeper and icebreaker, mainly in the Boston area. From 30 March until 18
April 19188, she made an ocean voyage, escorting a submarine chaser to
Bermuda. She then sailed to New London, Conn., and Newport, R.I., before
returning to Boston 30 April. A few months after the end of hostilities, Long
Island departed Boston 30 January 1919 for Charleston, S.C., where she arrived 5
February. Assigned to the 6th Naval District, she served as a temporary
lightship off Charleston until 25 May. Detached from the 6th Naval District 24
June, during the next 2 months she operated along the Atlantic coast from
Hampton Roads to Boston. She decommissioned 13 September 1919 and was sold I
December 1919 to Douglas Co., Inc., Reedville, Va.
Long Island (U.S. steam trawler, 1912)
Probably photographed while being altered for Navy service, circa May 1917. The
location appears to be the Boston Navy Yard.
Purchased by the Navy on 18 April 1917, she was commissioned on 8 May 1917 as
USS Long Island (SP-572). She decommissioned on 13 September 1919 and was
sold on 1 December 1919.
USS Long Island (AVG-1, later
ACV-1 and CVE-1)
USS Long Island, a 7886-ton escort aircraft carrier,
was launched in January 1940 at Chester, Pennsylvania, as the
merchant cargo ship Mormacmail. The U.S. Navy acquired
her in March 1941 and converted her to its prototype escort carrier.
Long Island was commissioned in early June 1941 and conducted
trial operations in the Atlantic during the rest of that year.
Among the results of these tests was a lengthened flight deck.
She also performed some convoy escort duties and, during the first
months of 1942, was employed as a training carrier.
In May 1942, Long Island went to the Pacific, where
she served with the west-coast-based battleship force in June
and also continued her pilot training mission. Beginning in July,
she transported aircraft to island bases, including carrying planes
to the newly-conquered, and tenuously-held, position on Guadalcanal.
Long Island was reclassified ACV-1 (auxiliary aircraft
carrier) in August 1942 and soon returned to the west coast to
resume training carrier pilots. In July 1943, she was again reclassified,
becoming CVE-1 (escort aircraft carrier).
During 1944 and 1945, Long Island was kept busy transporting
aircraft from the United States to locations closer to the Pacific
war zone. After the end of World War II, she brought home service
personnel as part of Operation "Magic Carpet". Decommissioned
in March 1946 and soon stricken from the list of Naval vessels,
USS Long Island was sold for scrapping in April 1947. In 1953, she was renamed Seven Seas
and was thereafter employed as a seagoing university.\
Long Island decommissioned on 26 March 1946 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 12 April 1946, she was sold to Zidell
Ship Dismantling Company, Portland, Oregon, on 24 April 1947 for scrapping.
However, she was subsequently acquired by the Canada-Europe Line on 12
March 1948 and resurrected to become a civilian passenger ship. . Upon
completion of conversion in 1949, she was renamed Nelly and served as an
immigrant carrier between Europe and Canada. In 1953, she was renamed "Seven
Seas". In 1955, she was chartered to the German Europe-Canada Line. In April
1963, made her last voyage. 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 by Rotterdam University the same year and
employed as a students' hostel until 1977, when she was scrapped in Belgium.
World War II
In the tense months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the new escort aircraft
carrier operated out of Norfolk, Virginia, conducting experiments to prove the
feasibility of aircraft operations from converted cargo ships. The data gathered
by Long Island greatly improved the combat readiness of later "baby flattops."
Just after the Japanese attack, Long Island 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 four battleships and provided air cover while at sea to
reinforce Admiral Chester Nimitz's forces after their brilliant victory in the
Battle of Midway. 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 1942 and arrived Pearl Harbor on the
17th. After a training run south to Palmyra Island, the ship loaded two
squadrons of Marine Corps aircraft and got underway for the [South
Pacific on 2 August. Five days later, the Marines, while landing on Guadalcanal,
encountered stiff opposition and needed more air support than could be provided
by the handful of carriers available during the early months of the war.
Touching at Fiji on 13 August, Long Island then steamed to a point 200 miles
(320 km) southeast of Guadalcanal and launched her aircraft. These planes, the
first to reach Henderson Field, were instrumental in the liberation of
Guadalcanal and went on to compile a distinguished war record. Her mission was
accomplished. Reclassified ACV-1 on 20 August, Long Island sailed for Efate, New
Hebrides, and arrived on 23 August.
USS Long Island in sea camouflage, November 1941. Seven SOC Seagull scout planes
and one Brewster Buffalo fighters are on deck.
Long Island returned to the West Coast on 20 September 1942, 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, an unglamorous but vital
contribution to victory. 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
Long Island received one battle star for her World War II service.
USS Long Island (AVG-1) (upper center)
Underway in company with USS Augusta (CA-31), in left front, off Cape
Sable, Nova Scotia, on August 1941. Augusta had President Franklin D.
Roosevelt embarked to witness Long Island's operations.
Among the other ships present are USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37), partially
visible at far right, and USS Meredith (DD-434), steaming astern of
Planes on her flight deck include seven Curtiss SOC-3A scout observation types
and one Brewster F2A fighter.
Planes on her flight deck include seven Curtiss SOC-3A scout
observation types and one Brewster F2A fighter.
Underway on 8 July 1941, with two F2A fighters parked at the
forward end of her flight deck.
Note flight deck markings: "LI". The ship is painted in Measure 1 camouflage,
with heavy weathering of paint evident on the hull side.
At Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 17 July 1942, with at least eight
SBD scout bombers and one TBF torpedo plane parked on her flight deck.
She is painted in camouflage Measure 12 (Modified), and wears an unusual number
on her bow: "751".
The planes include F4F, SBD and TBF types.
Photographed on 10 June 1944 by a plane from Naval Air
Station, Alameda, California.
She has 21 F6F fighters, 20 SBD scout bombers and two J2F
utility planes parked on her flight deck.
Moored at Naval Air Station, North Island, California, on 2
shortly before she sortied with Task Force ONE under Vice
Admiral William S. Pye.
Aircraft on deck include six Grumman F4F-4 fighters and three Curtiss SOC-3A of
View looking eastward from over Pearl City, with Ford Island
in the middle of the view and Diamond Head in the distant center, 1 August 1942.
USS Long Island (CVE-1) and USS Hornet (CV-8) are moored along
Ford Island's western side, protected by anti-torpedo nets.
The capsized hull of USS Utah (AG-16), a victim of the
7 December 1941 Japanese air raid
Planes of the USS Long Island
Curtis SOC-3A SeaGulls
Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat
A Grumman F4F-4 "Wildcat" fighter on the catapult, ready for
take-off, 17 June 1942. Several more F4F-4s are waiting their turn for launch.
All planes are from squadron VGS-1.
Note that Long Island's catapult runs diagonally across the flight deck,
from starboard toward the port bow.
A Grumman F4F-4 "Wildcat" fighter, equipped with ferry tanks,
on the carrier's catapult ready for launching, during flight operations on 6
Note that the catapult runs diagonally across the flight deck.
Planes parked in the background include more F4F-4s and Vought F4U-1s.
Is lifted on board USS Long Island (ACV-1) from USS Kitty Hawk
(APV-1), at Fila Harbor, New Hebrides, 28 August 1942.
This plane was en route to Guadalcanal as part of the second group of U.S.
Marine Corps planes to be based at Henderson Field.
Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo fighter
Rests in the flight deck gallery walkway after suffering landing gear failure
while landing on board USS Long Island (AVG-1), off Palmyra Island, 25
This plane is from Marine Fighting Squadron 211 (VMF-211), the last Navy or
Marine Corps unit to operate the F2A in a front-line capacity.
Brewster F2A-3 "Buffalo" fighter,
of Marine Fighting Squadron 211 (VMF-211)
Rests in the flight deck gallery netting after suffering landing gear failure
while landing on board USS Long Island (AVG-1) off Palmyra Island, 25
Note marking "MF-5" on the plane's fuselage and very weathered paint.
The carrier's SC radar antenna is visible atop her stub mast at right.
Grumman TBF-1 Avenger
A Grumman TBF-1 "Avenger" torpedo plane makes an arrested landing, probably
during carrier qualifications in late 1942 or early 1943.
North American SNJ-3 Trainer
A North American SNJ-3 training plane (Bureau # 05470) preparing to take off,
during pilot qualification operations off San Diego, California, 28 January 1943
Grumman JRF amphibian Goose
Grumman JRF amphibian Goose is hoisted on board USS Long Island (ACV-1) from a seaplane wrecking
derrick (YSD), off Palmyra Island, 19 April 1943.
of the USS Long Island
View on the hangar deck, looking aft over the elevator pit, 28 March 1942.
Three Vought SB2U scout bombers are present, embarked for carrier
qualifications. Note propellers on deck, and cowling removed from the SB2U at
left. The plane in center is marked "S-75".
Crewmen spotting a Grumman F4F-4 "Wildcat" fighter on the ship's hangar deck,
17 June 1942. Several other F4F-4s are present, as are Curtiss SOC-3A "Seagull"
scout-observation planes. All are from squadron VGS-1.
of the USS Long Island
View of the ship's masthead, with "SC" radar antenna and anemometer, 13 March
Officers and Crew
of the USS Long Island
Officers of Scouting Squadron 201 (VS-201)
Posing on the flight deck of USS Long Island (AVG-1), 10 September 1941.
The squadron Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander William D. Anderson, is
seated in the center of the front row.
VS-201 was the Navy's pioneer "composite squadron", formed in early 1941 for
service on Long Island.
Commander Donald B. Duncan, USN,
Commanding Officer, USS Long Island (AVG-1)
On his ship's flight deck, at Norfolk, Virginia, 26 October 1941.
Note the temporary mast, with what appear to be portable rigging anchors resting
to Long Island Index