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naval vessel from which airplanes may take off and on which they may land. As early as November 1910, an American civilian pilot, Eugene Ely, flew a plane off a specially built platform on the deck of the U.S. cruiser Birmingham at Hampton Roads, Virginia. On January 18, 1911, in San Francisco Bay, Ely landed on a platform built on the quarterdeck of the battleship Pennsylvania,using wires attached to sandbags on the platform as arresting gear; he then took off from the same ship.
The British navy also experimented with the carrier; during World War I it developed the first true carrier with an unobstructed flight deck, the HMS Argus, built on a converted merchant-ship hull. The war ended before the Argus could be put into action, but the U.S. and Japanese navies quickly followed the British example. The first U.S. carrier, a converted collier renamed the USS Langley,joined the fleet in March 1922. A Japanese carrier, the Hosyo, which entered service in December 1922, was the first carrier designed as such from the keel up.
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