USS Long Island (SP-572)


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)


Built by: Sun Shipbuilding, Chester, Pennsylvania
Rebuilt by:  Newport News, Virginia
Commissioned: June 2nd 1942
Water displacement: 14250 tons (loaded)
Length:  141,7 m. (waterline)149,9 m. (total) (492')
Beam: 21,2 m. load water-line: 7,8 m. (average) (102')
Draft: 25'6"
Deck: 127,3 x 21,6 m.
Arms: 1x 127 mm and 2x 76 mm Guns, 4x 12,7 mm Machine guns
Number of aircraft: Planes 16 to 21
Engine: Bush-Sulzer 7 Cylinder Diesel-engine with 1 propeller
Power:  8500 hp
Speed:  16 knots (29,63 km/h / 18,42 mph)
Max. Fuel stock: 1415 tons
Action radius:  Unknown
Armoring: None
Crew: 410

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.

Service History
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 Carpet.

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 Long Island.

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 June 1942,

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 squadron VGS-1.

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 March 1943.
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 July 1942.
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 July 1942.
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.

Hanger Deck 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.


MastHead of the USS Long Island

View of the ship's masthead, with "SC" radar antenna and anemometer, 13 March 1942.

Officers and Crew of the USS Long Island

Flight Squad

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 on deck.

Return to Long Island Index