< This [shorter flight deck] configuration was unsuccessful, and in Sep 1941 the flight deck was extended forward another 77 feet over the pilot house. The catapult was relocated to the portside of the flight deck parallel to the centerline. >
Two important caveats:
1. The flight deck extension was authorized on September 15, 1941, but when precisely that lengthening was implemented is not specified in anything I have yet found.
2. The relocation of the catapult parallel to the ship's centerline was NOT concomitant with the lengthening of the flight deck. The photo below (again from NavSource), clearly showing the now longer flight deck but still diagonal catapult, was shot on June 2, 1942 (the aircraft on deck are Grumman F4F-4 Wildcats and Curtiss SOC-3A Seagulls). Fifteen days later, Image No. 80-G-14548, displayed in my previous posting, was made of the F4F-4s queued up to be catapulted off. I daresay these close dates cannot both be wrong, particulary given the undisputed coexistence of the 77-foot longer flight deck AND the still operational diagonally configured catapult.