List of escort carriers of the Royal Navy

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The escort aircraft carrier, also called a "jeep carrier" or "baby flattop" in the USN or "Woolworth Carrier" by the RN, was a small and slow type of aircraft carrier used by the Royal Navy in the Second World War. They were typically half the length and one-third the displacement of the larger fleet carriers. While they were slower, less armed and armoured, and carried fewer planes, they were less expensive and could be built in less time. This was their principal advantage, as escort carriers could be completed in greater numbers as a stop-gap when fleet carriers were scarce. However, the lack of protection made escort carriers particularly vulnerable and several were sunk with great loss of life. The light carrier (hull classification symbol CVL) was a similar concept to escort carriers in most respects, however they were intended for higher speeds to be deployed alongside fleet carriers.

Escort carriers were too slow to keep up with the main forces consisting of fleet carriers, battleships, and cruisers. Instead, they were used to defend convoys from enemy threats such as submarines and planes. In the invasions of mainland Europe and Pacific islands, escort carriers provided air support to ground forces during amphibious operations. Escort carriers also served as backup aircraft transports for fleet carriers, and ferried aircraft of all military services to points of delivery.

Escort carriers should not be confused with the Merchant Aircraft Carrier or CAM ship.

Key[edit]

Main guns The number and type of the main battery guns
Displacement Ship displacement at full combat load
Propulsion Number of shafts, type of propulsion system, and top speed generated
Service The dates work began and finished on the ship and its ultimate fate
Laid down The date the keel began to be assembled
Commissioned The date the ship was commissioned


Audacity class[edit]

HMS Audacity


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Converted Commissioned Fate
HMS Audacity 8 11,000 long tons (11,000 t) 2 diesels, 1 shaft March 1939 17 June 1941 Sunk by torpedoes from U-751 21 December 1941

Long Island class[edit]

HMS Archer


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Converted Commissioned Fate
HMS Archer 16 12,860 long tons (13,070 t) 4 x diesels driving 1 shaft 1941 18 November 1941 Became Empire Lagan 1946

Avenger class[edit]

HMS Avenger


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Converted Commissioned Fate
HMS Avenger 15 14,500 long tons (14,700 t) 2 diesels, 1 shaft 27 November 1940 2 March 1942 Torpedoed and sunk west of Gibraltar by U-155 on 15 November 1942
HMS  Biter 15 14,500 long tons (14,700 t) 2 diesels, 1 shaft 8 December 1940 1 May 1942. Sold to France and renamed Dixmunde 1945
HMS Dasher 15 14,500 long tons (14,700 t) 2 diesels, 1 shaft 12 April 1941 1 July 1942 Destroyed by an aviation fuel explosion on 27 March. 1943

Attacker class[edit]

HMS Attacker 1942


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
HMS Battler 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers
2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft
15 April 1941 15 November 1942 Returned to the USN on 12 February 1946
HMS Attacker 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 17 April 1941 10 October 1942 Returned to the USN on 5 January 1946
HMS Hunter 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 22 May 1942 11 January 1943 Returned to the USN on 29 December 1945
HMS Chaser 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 28 June 1941 9 April 1943 Returned to the USN on 12 May 1946
HMS Fencer 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 5 September 1941 20 February 1943 Returned to the USN on 11 December 1946
HMS Stalker 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 6 October 1941 30 December 1942 Returned to the USN on 29 December 1945
HMS Pursuer 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 31 July 1941 14 June 1943 Returned to the USN on 12 February 1946
HMS Striker 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 15 December 1941 29 April 1943 Returned to the USN on 12 February 1946
HMS Searcher 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 7 April 1943 Returned to the USN on 29 November 1945
HMS Ravager 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 11 April 1942 26 April 1943 Returned to the USN on 26 February 1946
HMS Tracker 24 9,800 long tons (10,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 2 Westinghouse geared turbines driving 1 shaft 3 November 1941 31 January 1943 Returned to the USN on 29 November 1945

Ruler class[edit]

HMS Queen


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
HMS Slinger 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 25 May 1942 11 August 1943 Returned to the USN on 27 February 1946
HMS Atheling 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 9 June 1942 31 July 1943 Returned to the USN on 13 December 1946
HMS Emperor 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 23 June 1942 6 August 1943 Returned to the USN on 4 February 1946
HMS Ameer 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 18 July 1942 20 July 1943 Returned to the USN on 17 January 1946
HMS Begum 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 3 August 1942 2 August 1943 Returned to the USN on 4 January 1946
HMS Trumpeter 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 25 August 1942 4 August 1943 Returned to the USN on 6 April 1946
HMS Empress 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 9 September 1942 9 August 1943 Returned to the USN on 4 February 1946
HMS Khedive 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 30 December 1942 25 August 1943 Returned to the USN on 26 January 1946
HMS Speaker 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 9 October 1942 20 November 1943 Returned to the USN on 17 July 1946
HMS Nabob 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 20 October 1942 7 September 1943
into the Royal Canadian Navy under Royal Navy control
Returned to USN 16 March 1945
HMS Premier 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 31 October 1942 3 November 1943 Returned to the USN on 2 April 1946
HMS Shah 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 13 November 1942 27 September 1943 Returned to the USN on 6 December 1945
HMS Patroller 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 27 November 1942 25 October 1943 Returned to the USN on 13 December 1946
HMS Rajah 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 17 December 1942 17 January 1944 Returned to the USN on 13 December 1946
HMS Ranee 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 5 January 1943 8 November 1943 Returned to the USN on 21 November 1946
HMS Trouncer 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 1 January 1943 31 January 1944 Returned to the USN 3 March 1946
HMS Thane 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 22 February 1943 19 November 1943 Returned to the USN on 5 December 1945
HMS Queen 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 12 March 1943 7 December 1943 Returned to the USN on 31 October 1946
HMS Ruler 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 21 March 1943 22 December 1943 Returned to the USN on 29 January 1946
HMS Arbiter 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 26 April 1943 31 December 1943 Returned to the USN on 3 March 1946
HMS Smiter 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 10 May 1943 20 January 1944 Returned to the USN on 6 April 1946
HMS Puncher 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 21 May 1943 5 February 1944 Returned to the USN on 16 January 1946
HMS Reaper 24 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers; 2 Westinghouse geared turbines, 1 shaft 5 June 1943 21 February 1944 Returned to the USN on 20 May 1946

Activity class[edit]

HMS Activity


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
HMS Activity 36 14,250 long tons (14,480 t) 1 February 1940 1944 Sold in March 1946

Nairana class[edit]

HMS Nairana


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
HMS Nairana 15–20 0 long tons (0 t) 2 sets 5-cylinder Doxford Diesels. 2 shafts 20 May 1943 12 December 1943 Transferred to Netherlands 20 March 1946
HMS Vindex 15–20 16,830 long tons (17,100 t) 1 July 1942 3 December 1943 Sold 1947 and became MS Port Vindex
HMS Campania 15–20 16,830 long tons (17,100 t) 1 July 1942 3 December 1943 Sold 1947 and became MS Port Victor

Pretoria class[edit]

HMS Pretoria Castle


Ship Aircraft Displacement Propulsion Service
Laid down Commissioned Fate
HMS Pretoria Castle 15 23,450 long tons (23,830 t) 12 October 1938 9 April 1943 Sold 26 January 1946

Notes[edit]